US wants WHO review of COVID-19 response to start ‘now’

Virus Outbreak Who Probe
FILE - In this Monday, Feb. 24, 2020 file photo, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO), addresses a press conference about the update on COVID-19 at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The European Union is calling for an independent evaluation of the World Health Organization’s response to the coronavirus pandemic, “to review experience gained and lessons learned.” (Salvatore Di Nolfi/Keystone via AP, File)

JAMEY KEATEN Associated Press

GENEVA (AP) – The United States says it wants the World Health Organization to start work “now” on a planned independent review of the its coordinated international response to the COVID-19 outbreak, at a time the Trump administration has repeatedly criticized the agency and is threatening to cut off U.S. funding for it.

Adm. Brett Giroir, an assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, sent a letter to the U.N. health agency’s executive board meeting saying the United States believes the WHO can “immediately initiate organizational processes“ for the review.

Those would include bringing together independent health experts and setting up guidelines for the review.

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