KIGALI – Rwanda President, Paul Kagame has lashed out at President Donald Trump for trying to distract Africa from the fight against Coronavirus, by waging war against Director General, World Health Organisation (WHO) Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Kagame made the remarks through his Twitter handle, while responding to remarks by Moussa Faki Mahamat, Chairperson of African Union Commission who expressed shock at what he calledba 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,” noted Faki.
In response, President Kagame said, “Totally Agree, and asking this; Is it Dr. Tedros, WHO, China..under attack or all of them together? Let’s focus on the fight against this pandemic,whoever sh’d be held acc’ntable will come later and done properly. Save us too much politics Africa does not need it. Who does?. Dr. Tedros as leader of WHO has the full confidence and support of Africa…as we know it!”
Dr Tedros was born in 1965 in Asmara, which was part of Ethiopia at the time but is now in Eritrea. He replaced Dr Margaret Chan, a Canadian-Chinese physician, as Director General, World Health Organisation after beating off Dr David Nabarro, a Briton through a competitive ballot by 133 votes to 50, becoming the first African leader of the WHO and the first non-medic to hold the role with Tedros’s victory having come heavily from Africa where 50 out of 54 African states voted for him.
However, Tedros’s reign at the global body is being threatened by criticism from United States of America over his handling of the pandemic, especially after he praised China’s communist party for its response, commitment to transparency and saying the speed with which it detected the virus was ‘beyond words’.
With US Coronavirus deaths skyrocketing to over 12,000, President Donald Trump who has been criticised for mishandling intelligence information about the threat of COVID-19, is now blaming Tedros, saying he connived with China to hide information about Coronavirus from the world, saying WHO is ‘China-centric’ and threatened to institute an investigation into role of Tedros and China in spread of COVID-19.
Trump also threatened to suspend US funding to the WHO until an investigation has been carried out, while suggesting that they withheld information on the virus.
Trump tweeted yesterday, “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
Reports indicate that for Dr Tedros to ascend to the WHO throne, has been China heavily lobbied for him and after taking up the position, Chinese contributions to WHO have substantially increased from USD23Million in 2016 to USD38Million in 2019 and China has also committed to a further $57million in funding in 2020, though has yet to pay the balance.
On the other hand, funding from other major world economies – including the US, Russia, Japan and Germany – has remained largely flat or even fallen over the same period.