World Health Organization Defends Early Response To Coronavirus

For illustrative purposes a woman holds her mobile phone with a Covid-19 note in front of a computer screen with World Health Organisation logo during Coronavirus pandemic on April 21, 2020. The role of WHO is crucial during epidemics and pandemics. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto)
For illustrative purposes a woman holds her mobile phone with a Covid-19 note in front of a computer screen with World Health Organisation logo during Coronavirus pandemic on April 21, 2020. The role of WHO is crucia... For illustrative purposes a woman holds her mobile phone with a Covid-19 note in front of a computer screen with World Health Organisation logo during Coronavirus pandemic on April 21, 2020. The role of WHO is crucial during epidemics and pandemics. (Photo by Dominika Zarzycka/NurPhoto via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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April 22, 2020 3:01 p.m.
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LONDON — The head of the World Health Organization says the agency declared the outbreak of COVID-19 to be a global emergency “early enough” and that the pronouncement was made when there were fewer than 100 cases outside China, where the new coronavirus was first detected.

In recent weeks, WHO has been criticized for moving too slowly to warn the rest of the world about the threat posed by COVID-19. Last week, U.S. President Donald Trump suspended funding to WHO, accusing it of mismanaging the response to the coronavirus epidemic. Despite declaring the outbreak a global emergency on Jan. 30, WHO declined to describe it as a pandemic until March 11.

“Looking back, I think we declared (an) emergency at the right time,” WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, dismissing criticism that the U.N. agency acted too slowly. “The rest of the world had enough time to respond,” he said at a press briefing.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

TPM’s COVID-19 hub.
Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.
COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).
Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).
Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).
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