The main point of contention was Tedros’s failure to designate the coronavirus outbreak in China a global health emergency in late January.
By ZACHARY KEYSER
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An online petition calling for the resignation of World Health Organization director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus has gained traction lately, garnering over 718,000 signatures, claiming that the United Nations health official and the organizational efforts towards the coronavirus outbreak were unacceptable.
The petition, posted to Change.org and translated into multiple languages including French, Spanish, German and Arabic, added that the Tedros is “unfit” for his role as head of the organization and should forego his status immediately.
“Part of it is related to Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’s underestimating the coronavirus,” the petition reads. “We strongly think Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is not fit for his role as WHO Director General. We call for [his] Immediate Resignation.”
The main point of contention was the failure of Tedros to designate the coronavirus outbreak in China as a global health emergency in late January.
The petition alleged that instead of investigating and independently verifying the number of deaths and those infected within the Chinese provinces, Tedros simply relied on the word of the Chinese government, which initially downplayed the outbreak within their country in order to stave off the negative economic effects that were to come with the viral spread, apathetic to worldwide public health implications.
“A lot of us are really disappointed, we believe WHO is supposed to be politically neutral. Without any investigation, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus solely believes the death and infected numbers that the Chinese government provided,” the petition stated, adding that Taiwan “should not be excluded from WHO” due to its political contentions with mainland China, alleging that this shows favor to the Chinese government.
Deputy Prime Minister of Japan Taro Aso made mention of the petition, adding that its release came on the backdrop of worries that WHO would have to change its name to the “Chinese Health Organization.”
More than 1.1 million people have reportedly been infected by the novel coronavirus worldwide and 60,049 have died, according to a Reuters tally.
Infections have been reported in more than 200 countries and territories since the first cases were identified in China in December 2019.
“Please help the world to gain faith to the UN and WHO again,” the petition concluded.