Health Desk-25 July, 2020: The World Health Organization chief on Thursday rejected as false an allegation by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that he owed his position to a deal with China.
Pompeo told a private meeting of MPs on Tuesday that the WHO had become a "political" body, alleging that its decisions were influenced by a deal struck between chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and China that helped him become its head, according to quotes in the Times and Daily Telegraph. "When push came to shove, when it really mattered most", people died "because of the deal that was made", he said.
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said they were "untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation for that matter."
He insisted that the "sole focus... of the entire organisation is on saving lives. WHO will not be distracted by these comments and we don't want the entire international community also to be distracted."
He reiterated his warning that one of the "greatest threats in the current crisis is the "politicisation of the pandemic".
Tedros appealed to all countries to work together in the fight against the virus, which has claimed more than 630,000 lives worldwide since it first emerged in China late last year.