- African leadership has come to WHO head Tedros Ghebreyesus' defence
- This comes after US President Donald Trump threatened to cut funding amid the coronavirus pandemic
- Trump accused the organisation of favouring China, the epicentre of the outbreak
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African leaders have come to the defence of the World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Ghebreyesus.
President Cyril Ramaphosa, who also is chairperson of the African Union, commended Ghebreyesus for 'exceptional leadership' from the earliest stages of the international crisis:
“The AU calls upon the international community to join hands to support the efforts of the DG and the entire WHO family as they lead global efforts to fight this pandemic. If there was a time for global unity, solidarity and cooperation, this is that time.”
US President Donald Trump had claimed the WHO favoured China, threatening to cut US contributions despite the current emergency:
"The WHO really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China-centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?"
Rwanda official Paul Kagame insisted that the WHO head has the full 'confidence and support of Africa', with AU Commission boss Mousasa Faki called on world powers to fight Covid-19 and worry about accountability at a later stage, reports the SABC.
Tedros himself has rejected the US president's suggestion that the WHO has been playing favourites:
“We are close to every nation, we are colour-blind."
The chief added that the WHO had “kept the world informed about the latest data, information and evidence.”
Commenting on the current situation in Africa in relation to the virus, Tedros said that the window to act was closing:
“The window for containing the virus at the subnational and national level is closing in many countries. The infection numbers in Africa are relatively small now, but they are growing fast.”
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