Salvatore Di Nolfi – Associated Press
FILE - In this Monday, March 9, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization speaks during a news conference on updates regarding on the novel coronavirus COVID-19, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. After the new coronavirus erupted in China, the World Health Organization sprang into action: It declared an international health emergency, rushed a team to the epicenter in Wuhan and urged other countries to get ready and drum up funding for the response. Many analysts have praised the initial response by the world's go-to agency on health matters. But now, governments have started to brush aside, ignore and criticize WHO recommendations on issues of public policy, like whether cross-border travel should be restricted or whether the public should wear masks.
GENEVA - In a heartfelt plea for unity, the World Health Organization's chief sought Wednesday to rise above sharp criticism and threats of funding cuts from U.S. President Donald Trump over the agency's response to the coronavirus outbreak.
The vocal defense from the WHO director-general came a day after Trump blasted the U.N. agency for being "China-centric" and alleging that it had "criticized" his ban of travel from China as the COVID-19 outbreak was spreading from the city of Wuhan.