Analysis

WHO Director-General Tedros Harsher Toward Trump Than Toward China

(FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus reacted more harshly to President Donald Trump’s criticism of the WHO than he did to China’s cover-up of the virus’s outbreak.

Tedros on Wednesday told the president to “refrain from politicizing” the coronavirus pandemic “if you don’t want many more body bags.”

“If you don’t want many more body bags you refrain from politicizing it — please quarantine politicizing COVID,” he said, accusing the president of “playing with fire.”

The WHO chief’s ominous warning came after Trump threatened to pause the United States’ funding of the WHO — which amounts to far more than what any other nation gives to the WHO. (RELATED: WHO Spends Twice As Much On Travel As On Medical Supplies)

The president cited the way that the WHO, an arm of the United Nations, has run interference for China’s propaganda campaign as the basis for his threat.

Tedros’s hostile reaction to the president’s criticism makes for a stark contrast to the way in which he has downplayed, denied or outright ignored Chinese authorities’s misdeeds.

Under Tedros’s leadership, the WHO has become a key cog in China’s propaganda machine.

Tedros hasn’t rebuked China for covering up the COVID-19 outbreak and silencing whistleblowers in its early stages, which allowed the virus to spread across the globe. In fact, he praised China’s “transparency” and said the country’s response to the virus was a model for other nations.

“China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response,” Tedros said Jan. 30, just days after returning from a trip to Beijing.

Tedros, who won his WHO post with China’s help, also hasn’t rebuked Chinese officials for spreading a false conspiracy theory blaming the United States Army for the virus’s outbreak.

But he did rebuke Trump for criticizing the WHO’s alignment with China. And that’s a telling fact.

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