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Fauci: World Health Organization boss 'really an outstanding person' done 'very well' on coronavirus

Fauci: WHO head 'really an outstanding person'

Published: April 8, 2020 3:11pm

Updated: May 26, 2020 5:50pm

The World Health Organization has landed in President Trump’s crosshairs for its handling of the coronavirus, yet Dr. Tony Fauci, a senior adviser on the White House’s coronavirus task force, has recently praised the group's top leader.

WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has come under fire for allegedly failing to warn the world about the speedy, lethal nature of the coronavirus originating in China.

Multiple U.S. lawmakers, as well as Trump’s former national security adviser, John Bolton, have called for Ghebreyesus’s removal. A petition has garnered nearly 780K petition signers urging Tedros' ouster

"Tedros is really an outstanding person,” Fauci said during the March 25 coronavirus task force briefing. “I've known him from the time that he was the minister of Health of Ethiopia. “I mean, obviously, over the years, anyone who says that the WHO has not had problems has not been watching the WHO. But I think, under his leadership, they've done very well.”

Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), praised Ghebreyesus’ handling of the coronavirus epidemic. 

“He has been all over this,” Fauci said. “I was on the phone with him a few hours ago leading a WHO call."

Neither the White House nor NIH returned requests for comment from Just the News.

“The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump recently tweeted. “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?”

A University of Southampton study suggests the number of coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 95% had China moved to contain the virus three weeks sooner. 

"We will look at ending funding," Trump said at Tuesday’s White House coronavirus task force briefing. "We give a majority of the money that they get. They really called it wrong. They called it wrong. They really missed the call. They could have called it months earlier, they would have known. They should have known, and they probably did know. So we'll be looking into that very carefully, and we're going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We're going to put a very powerful hold, and we're going to see. It's a great thing if it works. But when they call every shot wrong, that's no good."

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said decisions about funding and personnel changes at the World Health Organization should wait until after the heat of the coronavirus pandemic cools.

"This is not the time for retribution, but it is still the time for clarity and transparency," Pompeo said Wednesday at the daily White House coronavirus task force briefing. "We're still working on this problem set. There's still data these good people need so that they perform their analysis of how to both develop therapeutics and a vaccine, and to understand where this virus is ... It started in China, and so they have that special responsibility to get it right quickly and fast ... We'll leave for another time to evaluate how everyone did in that."

As doctors in China began to warn about coronavirus spreading, the WHO adopted China’s official position that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.” The WHO congratulated China for “setting a new standard for outbreak response.” 

On February 15th, the WHO claimed China was “slowing the spread to the rest of the world,” and despite serious concerns doubting the data being put out by China, the WHO defended China once again.

“I didn’t see anything that suggested manipulation of numbers,” Ghebreyesus reportedly said.

Global health experts have strongly criticized the WHO’s failure to issue a warning for months during West Africa’s Ebola outbreak, calling it an “egregious failure.”

TIME magazine reported that “Top leaders at the World Health Organization (WHO) have admitted to being ‘ill prepared’ to handle the Ebola outbreak and released a comprehensive list of agency failings as well as suggested reforms they and global policymakers must realize moving forward.”

During the 2009 H1N1 pandemic, WHO was accused of inaccurately portraying the situation to member states and potentially costing billions of dollars for wasted vaccines that weren’t used. In 2004, medical experts said the WHO allocated millions of dollars to malaria medicines that were no longer effective against the disease.

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