The experts’ show of support comes in the wake of blistering criticism against the world health body and its leadership made recently by the US President Donald Trump for its alleged mishandling of the Coronavirus response. President Trump accused WHO of failing to stop Coronavirus from spreading to other parts of the world from China where it originated in December 2019.
Trump also signed an order to suspend the US government’s contribution the WHO estimated at about US$400m annually.
But in an Open Letter to the WHO and its Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Gebrheyesus, the team of health experts says that WHO and Dr. Tedros are doing a good job of remaining focused on defeating COVID-19.
“We are delighted and encouraged that despite these attacks you and WHO are committed to continue to focus on saving lives and controlling the pandemic with statements such as “No time to waste. Let’s focus on saving lives. Collaboration across party lines important to ensure national unity to fight the virus more effectively. National unity is a foundation for global solidarity. When we do this, we quarantine political covid. Stop politicizing #COVID19”.
The swift response by Prof. Omaswa’s team of international health experts is perhaps inspired by a study titled: “The Neglected Dimension of Global Security: A Framework to Counter Infectious Disease Crises” published in 2016,” that was done by some of them which concluded that the WHO was best placed to fight an eventual outbreak of an infectious disease with potential to spread to other countries.
Omaswa’s team is just part of the huge show of solidarity from across the world towards the WHO following Trump’s outburst remarks. Others global leaders including member countries of the G7 (group of most 7 most industrialised countries) in their meeting last Thursday expressed support for the WHO.
Yesterday April 16, 2020, G7 leaders voiced their backing for the WHO and urged international co-operation, in repudiation of President Trump’s apparent global agenda to break up the international cooperation framework.
Following their virtual meeting that was chaired by the US, a spokesman for German chancellor Angela Merkel said that the German chancellor had argued that “the pandemic can only be overcome with a strong and co-ordinated international response”. The spokesman said Merkel “expressed support for the WHO as well as a number of other partners”.
The Canadian prime minister, Justin Trudeau, also said: “There is a need for international coordination and the WHO is an important part of that collaboration and coordination. We recognise that there have been questions asked, but at the same time it is really important we stay coordinated as we move through this.”
The G7 leaders’ reaction is yet another repudiation of President Trump in his effort to attack China. In March Trump had drafted a G7 statement in which he Characterised the Coronavirus as a Wuhan Virus in a bid to pin China with responsibility for the coming global economic recession. The other six countries – Japan, Italy, France, the UK, Italy and Canada – refused.