WHO chief Ghebreyesus should apologise for virus slander, says Taiwan

Cheryl Sanders
April 9, 2020

"I don't care, to be honest. even death threats". "If Director-General Tedros could withstand pressure from China and come to Taiwan to see Taiwan's efforts to fight COVID-19 for himself, he would be able to see that the Taiwanese people are the true victims of unfair treatment".

Earlier this week, the WHO chief, who is a former Ethiopian health and foreign minister, said that since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, he has been receiving death threats and was called a "negro". "I do not give a damn", he told reporters on a conference call.

He claimed Taiwanese diplomats were aware of the attacks but did not dissociate themselves from them.

The WHO head went on to claim that Taiwan has been engaged in an internet campaign against him for three months. "I say it today because it's enough".

Taiwan foreign ministry spokeswoman Joanne Ou said the comments were "irresponsible" and the accusations "imaginary".


The Taiwan foreign ministry expressed "strong dissatisfaction and a high degree of regret" at his remarks.

"If Director-General Tedros could withstand pressure from China and come to Taiwan to see Taiwan's efforts to fight COVID-19 for himself, he would be able to see that the Taiwanese people are the true victims of unfair treatment", she wrote, referring to Taiwan's exclusion from the World Health Organization at China's insistence.

He has long denied being partisan or holding any geopolitical bias while at the same time warning people against calling the virus "Chinese" or associating it with a region, despite the coronavirus originating from Wuhan, China.

Tedros was elected with the strong support of China, one of five permanent veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council and which claims Taiwan as its own territory.

Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus further assured the world that his organisation continue in its defined role.


Taiwan used to participate in the World Health Assembly with an observer status as "Chinese Taipei", a special arrangement made through cross-Strait consultations on the basis of both sides' adherence to the 1992 Consensus.

While the World Health Organization have firmly backed Beijing's claims of openness and transparency regarding the outbreak, it has largely ignored gains made by Taiwan during the pandemic.

Taiwan prides itself on its early and hitherto effective measures against the coronavirus, with only 379 cases and five deaths so far, much lower than many of its neighbors. He accused the United Nations company of being "very China-centric" and claimed the company "really blew it" in its preliminary response to the pandemic - together with what he noticed because the company's criticism of his ban on overseas nationals from China.

"If you don't want many more body bags you refrain from politicizing it - please quarantine politicizing COVID", he stated.

Meanwhile, in the United States, President Donald Trump's administration has seized the opportunity of the coronavirus pandemic to boost Taiwan's status in the worldwide arena. Yet without evidence, #Taiwan is accused of orchestrating personal attacks.


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