Petition Calling for WHO Chief to Resign Surpasses 1 Million Signatures
Viral campaign demands Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus stands down over COVID-19 handling
A viral petition calling for the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) to resign, over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, has now surpassed one million signatures.
The petition demands the resignation of embattled WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus over his handling of the global COVID-19 pandemic and his organization's ties to China - the source of the outbreak.
The petition titled, “Call for the resignation of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General,” was published on Change.org.
The creator cites Dr. Tedros’ January 23 refusal to designate the coronavirus a global health emergency when it emerged in China.
The campaign was started an anonymous Taiwan activist using the ID “Osuka Yip.”
“Osuka Yip” launched the call, reflecting global concerns Tedros has been economical with the truth since the deadly virus was first isolated in the southern Chinese city of Wuhan last November, according to Breitbart.
Japanese deputy prime minister and finance minister Taro Aso agreed.
He said in parliament that some have even started calling the World Health Organization the “Chinese Health Organization,” NHK reported, such has been its inability to do anything other than repeat Chinese diplomatic messaging.
“We strongly think Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is not fit for his role as WHO director general,” the petition states.
"We call for the immediate resignation of Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus."
Such is the clamor of disapproval surrounding the Ethiopian bureaucrat that last week U.S. President Donald Trump ordered a hold on funds sent to the U.N. body, demanding they answer for their failures to properly warn the world about the deadly virus.
The president also criticized WHO for attacking his travel ban on China during the early days of the pandemic:
He pointed out WHO played a role in “mismanaging and covering up” the spread of the coronavirus around the world.
“The WHO pushed China’s misinformation about the virus, saying it was not communicable and there was no need for travel bans,” Trump said.
"Thousands and thousands of people would have died" has the U.S. followed WHO's advice, Trump said.
On January 14, months after health officials are believed to have detected the first case of the virus in China on November 17 of last year, WHO was promoting a Chinese claim via Twitter that there was “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.”
Meanwhile, the disease was spiraling out of control.
WHO's tweet came a day before the first case to reach the United States reportedly flew from Wuhan to the state of Washington.
This is not the first time Tedros has drawn public criticism in his role.
In October 2017, he named former Zimbabwe tyrant Robert Mugabe a “goodwill ambassador” to help combat non-communicable diseases in Africa, provoking outrage from medical professionals and human rights groups.
As the New York Times noted:
The role of good-will ambassador is largely symbolic, but rights groups were scathing in their reaction to the symbolism of giving it to a man whose leadership, they say, has led to the collapse of its health service and major rights abuses in Zimbabwe.
Ultimately, Tedros rescinded his decision to name Mugabe “goodwill ambassador” in the wake of criticism.