African Union defends WHO after Trump criticism


The African Union Chairperson, Moussa Faki Mahamat has defended the World Health Organisation (WHO) following heavy criticism and threats to freeze its funding by US President Donald Trump.

President Trump accused the United Nation’s health agency of “missing the call” on the coronavirus pandemic and threatened to suspend funds.

He tweeted on Tuesday that the WHO was “very China-centric” yet it is “largely” funded by the US.

Mr Mahamat also tweeted on Wednesday, saying
“Surprised to learn of a campaign by the US government against WHO’s global leadership. The African Union fully supports WHO and Dr Tedros. The focus should remain on collectively fighting Covid-19 as a united global community. The time for accountability will come.”

Rwandan President Paul Kagame responded to the tweet saying:
“Totally agree; is it Dr Tedros, WHO, China…under attack or all of them together? Let’s focus on the fight against this pandemic, whoever should be held accountable will come later and done properly. Save us too much politics Africa does not need it.

South African President Ramaphosa also tweeted that the leadership of Dr Tedros, who is from Ethiopia, during the Covid-19 pandemic was “incalculable”:

 The most potent weapon against #COVID19 and its devastating health, social & economic impact is international cooperation & solidarity, which is why the exceptional leadership displayed daily by @WHO & @DrTedros during an unprecedented global public health crisis is incalculable

— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 8, 2020

The coronavirus has affected about 209 countries, infected some 1.45 million people with over 83,000 recorded deaths, and over 300,000 people have recovered from the disease.


Olajumoke Adeleke