WHO slams Trump saying that the pandemic should not be made into a "political football"

FILE PHOTO: REUTERS/Denis Balibouse/File Photo

World Health Organisation's top emergency expert Mike Ryan stressed the need for countries to have "consistent messaging" for the public in order to combat the coronavirus pandemic effectively. 

In an increasing sign of WHO's unease with the way coronavirus pandemic is being politicized in some countries, Ryan said that the pandemic should not be made into a "political football".

"It's understanding the confusion, it's understanding their (people's) concern, it's understanding their apprehension. And not laughing at it and not turning that into some kind of political football," said Dr. Ryan

His comments came just a day after US President Donald Trump contradicted Robert Redfield, Director of Centre for Disease Control (CDC) over the possible availability of the coronavirus vaccine.

Redfield had said that the coronavirus vaccine will broadly be rolled out in mid-2021 and masks might be more effective.

“If you’re asking me when is it going to be generally available to the American public so we can begin to take advantage of vaccine to get back to our regular life, I think we’re probably looking at third ... late second quarter, third quarter 2021,” Redfield told US Senate.

Trump, at a news conference, said he believed a vaccine will be rolled out much sooner. He said he called Redfield after his testimony to question him about it, and that Redfield appeared to have been "confused" by the question.

US Presidential Elections are due in November this year.

"It is important that we have consistent messaging from all levels, and it's not for one country or one entity; consistent messaging between science and between government," the WHO's Mike Ryan said in response to a question about the exchange.

This is not the first time the USA and the WHO have exchanged words. In May this year, Trump even threatened to halt funding to the WHO.

Source: Reuters

Publish : 2020-09-17 18:07:50

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