Uhuru joins African presidents to defend Tedros, WHO from Trump attack

• President Kenyatta acknowledged the organisation’s leading role in the consolidation of multilateral efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic under the leadership of Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian.


 

 WHO Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus/ COURTESY


ADDIS ABABA – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has joined other African Heads of State and Government to support the World Health Organization from US President Donald Trump.

Uhuru acknowledged the organisation’s leading role in the consolidation of multilateral efforts in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic under the leadership of Director General Tedros Ghebreyesus, an Ethiopian.

“President Kenyatta echoed the position of the African Union saying Covid-19 will be defeated much faster if the world pulls in the same direction,” a statement from the Presidential  Strategic Communication Unit said on Thursday.

President Trump launched a scathing attack on WHO on Tuesday, accusing it of being too focused on China and issuing bad advice during the coronavirus outbreak.

He threatened to put a hold on the US funding for the agency.

“The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump said in a Twitter post.

“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?” Trump tweeted.

He repeated the accusations against the UN agency at a White House news briefing later on Tuesday.

“They called it wrong. They really — they missed the call,” Trump said.

“And we’re going to put a hold on money spent to the WHO. We’re going to put a very powerful hold on it and we’re going to see.”

But in a rejoinder, African Union Commission chairman has told off US President Donald Trump over his criticism of the WHO leadership, saying the AU fully supports Tedros and his leadership.

This was followed by a statement by AU chairman and South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa, reaffirming “AU’s unwavering support of WHO”.

” Chairperson of the African Union and President of the Republic of South Africa, HE Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirms his appreciation for the exceptional leadership of the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, from the very earliest stages of this unprecedented global health crisis. The African Union has also commended the management of Dr Tedros in leading the global response to the pandemic,” the AU said in a statement on Thursday.

Namibia’s President Hage Geingob added his voice on Wednesday, saying WHO, under the stewardship of Dr Tedros has shown itself “to be a true flag-bearer of unilateralism when global solidarity has become critical”.

“Let’s hold hands in this crucial moment and focus on what matters, saving lives,” he tweeted.

Rwanda’s President and a former AU chairman posed, “Is it Dr.Tedros,WHO, China…under attack or all of them together? Let’s focus on the fight against this pandemic,whoever sh’d be held accountable will come later and done properly. Save us too much politics Africa does not need it. Who does?””

@DrTedros as leader of @WHO has the full confidence and support of Africa…as we know it!” he tweeted.

Dr Tedros on Wednesday came out gun blazing, saying he has faced racist abuse and even death threats, which he said had been extended to the African continent.

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