WHO Chief On COVID-19 Pandemic: ‘The Worst Is Yet To Come’

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World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus speaks during a news conference earlier this week in Geneva.

Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images


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Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images


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According to the latest tally from Johns Hopkins University, there have been more than 10 million confirmed coronavirus infections worldwide since the virus was first identified in China late last year, with more than a half-million deaths. The U.S. alone accounts for more than one-quarter of all confirmed cases, with nearly 126,000 deaths.

"If any country is saying contact tracing is difficult, it is a lame excuse,» says @WHO Chief @DrTedros, pointing out that many public health professionals have risked their lives to do contact tracing in active conflict zones, including @DrMikeRyan when fighting #Ebola in DRC. pic.twitter.com/ka8vbLrAUL

— Global Health Strategies (@GHS) June 29, 2020

«[The] lack of national unity and lack of global solidarity and the divided world … is actually helping the virus to spread,» Tedros said. «[The] worst is yet to come.»

«I’m sorry to say that, but with this kind of environment and conditions we fear the worst,» he said.

The head of WHO’s emergencies program, Mike Ryan, said there had been «tremendous work» toward a coronavirus vaccine but said there’s no guarantee of success.

In the U.S., a spike in coronavirus infections has been driven in part by people unwilling to heed public health guidelines to wear masks and continue social distancing.

Currently, the U.S. leads the world in both coronavirus infections and COVID-19 deaths. Brazil ranks second in the number of infections, followed by Russia, India and the United Kingdom.

President Trump has been highly critical of the WHO, accusing it of helping China cover up the extent of the pandemic within its borders. Earlier this month, the president announced that the U.S. was «terminating» its decades-long relationship with the WHO and would withdraw vital U.S. funding.

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