World Health Organization Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said that the accusations made by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's comments on WHO and China last Tuesday were «untrue and unacceptable.» He was speaking at a COVID-19 press briefing in Geneva on Thursday.
«As you know, the comments were done, I think, on Tuesday, last Tuesday, and the comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation for that matter. And our sole focus and the focus of the entire organization is on saving lives. If there is one thing that really matters to us and which should matter to the entire international community, it's saving lives. And WHO will not be distracted by these comments,» Adhanom Ghebreyesus said.
World Health Organization Technical Lead for COVID-19 Maria Van Kerkhove «felt the need to say something as an American and as a proud WHO employee,» after having worked for the organisation for more than 10 years.
«I have had the honour and privilege to sit next to Dr Tedros and Dr Mike Ryan for I don't know how many days since the beginning of this pandemic. And I have never been more proud to be WHO,» she said. «We have dedicated staff in all of our regions and in countries working all over the world. We have partners that continue to work with us and engage with us.»
«We are firmly focused on saving lives. As Dr Tedros has said, firmly focused, we will not be distracted. And that is what we remain and we will continue to remain focused on,» she added.
Pompeo had alleged that China had co-opted the World Health Organisation in London on Tuesday, incurring in criticism towards the WHO and its response to the coronavirus.
Mandatory credit: WHO