WHO announces review of pandemic response amid US withdrawal

Geneva, Jul 9 (efe-epa).- The World Health Organization announced the creation of an independent and comprehensive evaluation of the lessons learned from the response to the pandemic, director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Thursday at a member state briefing.

The announcement came after United States President Trump officially moved to withdraw Washington from the organization after announcing his intention to do so in May.

The commission will be chaired by former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Liberian President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the WHO chief said.

“It is time for a very honest reflection,” Ghebreyesus said.

“All of us must look in the mirror – WHO, every Member State, all involved in the response. Everyone.”

The Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response (IPPR) led by Clark and Johnson Sirleaf working with policymakers and experts will “help us understand what happened – an honest assessment – and to help us understand also what we should do to prevent such a tragedy in the future. So collectively, as a world to say ‘never again’ to such kind of tragedy,” the Ethiopian epidemiologist added.

The two co-chairs said that the entrusted work was a complex challenge.

Johnson Sirleaf said the team would do everything possible to respond and remain united to face the effects of Covid-19.

WHO’s general assembly in May called for a comprehensive, impartial and independent evaluation of its management of the pandemic and the world response to the outbreak, although members had not stated when this would take place.

Ghebreyesus said on Thursday that “this is not a standard report that ticks a box and is then put on a shelf to gather dust.”

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