WHO Director Calls For Global Unity As Pandemic Begins To ‘Speed Up’

The Director and Chief of the World Health Organization is reprimanding world leaders for spreading mixed messages regarding Covid-19.

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World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus recently held a media briefing where he slammed some world government leaders for sending mixed messages to their citizens in regards to the coronavirus pandemic. He claimed that hearing different leaders from around the world telling their citizens different facts and procedures regarding the virus is causing the public to lose trust in the individuals who are meant to protect them the most. 

He also warned that this lack of organization is clearly leading to massive spikes in cases in areas of the world that are more relaxed about their lockdown procedures. These unpredictable and massive spikes in cases mean that “there will be no return to normal for the foreseeable future” according to Ghebreyesus.

Ghebreyesus didn’t call out any politicians specifically, and instead addressed everyone in an attempt to get leaders to listen, and not place blame. However, he made it very clear that “too many countries are headed in the wrong direction” with the way the pandemic is continuously growing especially in parts of the world, like the US, that are remaining open despite countless health officials’ advice to do the opposite. 

“The virus remains public enemy No 1, but the actions of many governments and people do not reflect this.”

Ghebreyesus acknowledged that modern world governments have never experienced a world health crisis to this degree before, so it’s understandable that some leaders wouldn’t respond effectively at first. However, after seeing countries like New Zealand – who fully trusted their healthcare system to create policies which has led to them now being completely Covid-free as a country – it’s hard to understand how some areas of the world wouldn’t want to follow suit to get back to a life of complete normalcy. 

The WHO recently reported that another worldwide record was broken this week when more than 230,000 confirmed Covid cases appeared within 24 hours. Ten countries accounted for 80% of that total, and more than half of the cases came from the United States and Brazil alone. North and South America are currently two of the only countries in the world that are continuously seeing massive spikes in case numbers. 

The UN health agency said that government and individual responses to the pandemic should be dependent on local conditions and how badly the virus is impacting certain areas. However, for larger countries such as the US, it’s difficult to make federal policies when so many states are seeing different numbers. However, Ghebreyesus claims that the entire world would be seeing similar case numbers if we were more united in our policies. 

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“Mixed messages from leaders are undermining the most critical ingredient of any response: trust.”

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Ghebreyesus believes that all governments should be clearly communicating with their citizens in regards to public health messages and what individuals need to be doing everyday to curve the spread; wear a mask, social distance, hand-washing, and staying home as much as possible. Using the UK as an example, Ghebreyesus went on to discuss how the country was emerging from their lockdown but saw major backlash from the public when the government kept sending mixed messages about mask-requirements in public store settings. 

Only recently did the British government make wearing a mask in public settings mandatory as the country continues to reopen. However, Ghebreyesus stated that the Prime Minister’s back-and-forth messaging about wearing a mask up until this point would have already done enough damage to cause the pandemic to continue to “get worse and worse.”

Ghebreyesus then emphasized that larger countries such as the United States, Brazil, and India are still facing major outbreaks of the virus and they’re also the countries that have rejected the basic recommendations that all healthcare providers have been preaching since March. Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has frequently questioned the lockdown procedures and severity of the virus in general, but has also recently tested positive for Covid-19

Ghebreyesus ended by discussing the reopening of schools in the fall and addressed all world leaders directly, stating that “we can’t turn schools into yet another political football in this game. It’s not fair on our children.”

For now, the US is still projecting to reopen all schools in the fall despite major concern from the public. Only time will tell how much that changes in the coming months but for now, continue to listen to your healthcare providers and all the advice that they’ve been stating since the beginning.