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WHO CHIEF URGES WORLD LEADERS NOT TO POLITICIZE THE PANDEMIC

World leaders must not politicize the coronavirus pandemic but unite to fight it, the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday, reminding all that the pandemic is still accelerating and producing record daily increases in infections, John Gambrell reported for the Associated Press (AP) late on June 22, 2020.


The comments by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has faced criticism from US President Donald Trump, come as the number of reported infections soared in Brazil, Iraq, India and southern and western US states, straining local hospitals. It took over three months for the world to see 1 million virus infections, but the last 1 million cases have come in just eight days, Tedros said during a videoconference for the Dubai-based World Government Summit.

“The greatest threat we face now is not the virus itself, it’s the lack of global solidarity and global leadership,” he said. “We cannot defeat this pandemic with a divided world.”

Speaking later in the conference, WHO's special envoy on COVID-19, Dr. David Nabarro, said he believed it would be “2 1/2 years until there will be a vaccine for everybody in the world.” He added: “Even if there's a candidate by the end of the year, the safety and efficacy tests will take some time… and then the effort has to be put into producing large amounts of vaccine so everyone in the world can get it and then organizing the vaccination programs.” Yet, the British physician concluded: “I would love it to be proved wrong.”

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