Left: Getty Images | Right: Dominika Zara
After refusing to resign over mishandling the COVID-19 response, AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) calls on the World Health Assembly (WHA) to dismiss Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus from his position as World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General at its upcoming 73rd WHA starting May 17 – and to seek the appointment of former United States President Barack Obama as interim head of the WHO to lead it through the COVID-19 response for a period of one year.
“We urge the World Health Assembly to dismiss Dr. Tedros and to do all they can to bring in President Obama to help see us through this crisis,” said AHF PresidentMichael Weinstein. “Now that we know it’s very likely COVID-19 cases date back to at least November, and certainly December, it was unexcusable to wait four months to declare a pandemic. WHO is supposed to be our best early warning system, at which they failed horribly under Dr. Tedros’ lead. That, coupled with him not displaying sufficient independence from external political pressures, is more than enough to warrant his removal. There are simply too many lives at stake to wait to make this change.”
Tedros has stumbled in several critical areas of the COVID-19 response, most notably by praising China for transparency following an attempted cover-up, delaying the Public Health Emergency of International Concern and pandemic declarations, and relying on questionable data from China for critical decisions regarding COVID-19.
“President Obama has adept abilities in international diplomacy and strengthening cooperation among people from all walks of life – along with credibility at the highest levels of global governance to help shepherd the WHO and the global pandemic response through these unprecedented times.” added Weinstein. “If there ever was a moment for a leader of President Obama’s character, stature and unifying prowess to take charge—it’s now.”