Published: 09:38, August 7, 2020 | Updated: 20:39, June 5, 2023
WHO chief requests US to reconsider withdrawal decision
By Xinhua

In this July 3, 2020 file photo, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attends a press conference organised by the Geneva Association of United Nations Correspondents (ACANU) amid the COVID-19 outbreak, caused by the novel coronavirus, at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. (FABRICE COFFRINI / POOL / AFP)

GENEVA - The chief of the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday said that the COVID-19 pandemic can not be defeated in a divided world, and he hopes the United States will "reconsider its position" on the decision to withdraw from the organization.

"Now it's time to work together, it's time to focus on fighting the virus. So I hope the US will reconsider its position," WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at the Aspen Security Forum via video link.

Today, more than 18.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported to WHO and 700,000 lives have been lost 

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General

"You cannot defeat this dangerous enemy in a divided world. We need a united world, and the united world needs cooperation and solidarity among its major powers," he explained.

The WHO chief told the audience that the withdrawal is not just about money, but more importantly by what degree the world can be put together to win the battle against a dangerous virus.

ALSO READ: WHO: Wuhan 'not necessarily' zoonotic source of COVID-19

"If there are issues about WHO or the UN system at large, we're very open for any evaluation or assessment, the truth can be known, and this can be done from inside without leaving the organization," he said.

The WHO chief told the audience that the events of the last seven months are a tragic reminder of the insecurity and instability that disease can cause.

"Today, more than 18.5 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported to WHO and 700,000 lives have been lost," he said.

Saying that it's never too late to turn outbreaks around and many countries have done just that, Tedros stressed that it's never too late to turn the situation around.

"Our best way forward is to stick with science, solutions and solidarity and together we can overcome this pandemic," he noted.

READ MORE: WHO tempers hopes on vaccine efficacy

US President Donald Trump announced in May that his country would sever ties with the WHO and terminate funding for the organization. Last month, the United States notified the United Nations secretary-general of its withdrawal from the WHO.