EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell Fontelles gestures during a press conference after an EU foreign ministers' meeting at the EU headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, Jan. 20, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhang Cheng)
COVID-19 is not a Chinese virus, said a senior EU official on Thursday, as he called for global cooperation in confronting the "massive threat."
"Viruses don't have a nationality and they don't care about borders," tweeted Josep Borrell Fontelles, the EU high representative for foreign affairs and security policy.
He said COVID-19 is not a Chinese virus, as the Spanish flu was not Spanish.
"We all face a massive threat that requires global cooperation and all of us working hand in hand," he said.
Michael Ryan, executive director of the World Health Organization health emergencies program, also warned against mis-labeling the novel coronavirus Wednesday in response to some U.S. politicians calling COVID-19 a "Chinese virus."
He gave an example of the HINI influenza outbreak in 2009, saying that the pandemic "originated in North America, and we didn't call it the North American flu."
According to the latest statistics from the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University, the number of global COVID-19 cases has topped 244,523 with 10,031 deaths.