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Trump admin’s pandemic surrender draws impassioned response from WHO

Enlarge / World Health Organization (WHO) Health Emergencies Program Director Michael Ryan (L) speaks past Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a daily press briefing on COVID-19 virus at the WHO headquarters in Geneva on March 9, 2020. (credit: Getty | FABRICE COFFRINI )

Top officials at the World Health Organization on Monday appeared at times exasperated, flabbergasted, and wearied as they confronted comments by White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows suggesting that the United States has given up trying to control the spread of the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2.

“We’re not going to control the pandemic,” Meadows said in a CNN interview Sunday. Instead we will focus on “vaccines, therapeutics, and other mitigation areas,” he said. The comments spurred widespread uproar, which Meadows tried to quell Monday. But his clarification only reinforced his earlier comments.

“I mean, when we look at this, we’re going to defeat the virus. We’re not going to control it. We will try to contain it as best we can,” he told reporters outside the White House yesterday. He again emphasized the need for therapeutics and vaccines.

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