WHO Says COVID-19 Can Be Called A ‘Pandemic’ Amid Spread, Gov’t Inaction

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures as he speaks during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquaters in Geneva on March 9, 2020. - The World Health ... World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gestures as he speaks during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquaters in Geneva on March 9, 2020. - The World Health Organization said on March 9, 2020 that more than 70 percent of those infected with the new coronavirus in China have recovered, adding that the country was "bringing its epidemic under control". (Photo by Fabrice COFFRINI / AFP) (Photo by FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images) MORE LESS
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March 11, 2020 1:09 p.m.
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The World Health Organization on Wednesday announced that COVID-19, the disease resulting from the novel coronavirus that spread across the globe, can be considered a pandemic.

The organization has in the past resisted applying the label to the disease, saying it was still possible for it to be contained in the various areas to which it had spread.

“We’re deeply concerned both by the alarming levels of spread and severity, and by the alarming levels of inaction,” WHO Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesuse said at a press conference Wednesday.

“We have therefore made the assessment that COVID-19 can be characterized as a pandemic.”

On Monday, Tedros said that the threat of the novel coronavirus’ spread becoming a pandemic was “very real.”

“But it would be the first pandemic in history that could be controlled,” he added. “The bottom line is: we are not at the mercy of this virus.”

Anthony Fauci, the U.S. director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said on Monday last week that the disease had “now reached outbreak proportions and likely pandemic proportions.”

“If you look at, by multiple definitions of what a pandemic is, the fact is this is multiple sustained transmissions of a highly infectious agent in multiple regions of the globe,” Fauci said.

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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