The director-general of the World Health Organization praised President Trump on Thursday for his response to the coronavirus pandemic and said he believes Trump’s “political commitment and political leadership can bring a change or can stop this pandemic.”
“I know he’s doing all he can,” the director said.
The comments come at a time that the U.S. has seen a dramatic increase in coronavirus cases, especially in cities like New York and New Orleans. Trump has been criticized by some for early comments about the severity of the virus and access to tests, but he has also been praised for his swift decision to halt flights from China.
Tedros is not alone in his appreciation of Trump’s effort in the crisis. A recent Gallup poll showed that 60 percent of Americans approve his handling of the virus. The same poll showed his overall job approval at 49 percent—tied for his highest ever at Gallup.
Tedros apparently missed recent reports from CNN’s Jake Tapper and Don Lemon, who criticize the president as a matter of practice.
Tapper, for instance, recently engaged in a Twitter row with the president after Trump tweeted that the “LameStream Media” was attempting to keep the country closed in hopes that it would hurt his re-election.
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Tapper, fresh off attacking rollerbladers in San Francisco, called Trump’s comment “complete and utter nonsense.” Tapper said the media was reporting on what officials said from his own administration.
Tapper then tweeted that the public needs more coronavirus tests, ventilators and protective equipment.
U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams told Fox News’ “Hannity” on Tuesday that the U.S. has “turned the corner on coronavirus testing” and has, in the past eight days, tested more people than South Korea in eight weeks. Seoul’s response to the virus is seen as the gold standard.
Tedros said at the conference that there is no vaccine or cure for the virus, so the best steps a government can take is to try and suppress the transmission. One of the unique challenges with the coronavirus is that a person may have the disease and be completely ignorant of his symptoms. The fear is that person could carry on his everyday life and infect more people.
“It’s a dangerous virus,” he said. He said the world has a small window to stop the spread, but “the time to act was actually more than a month ago, two months ago.”