"Please quarantine politicizing COVID. If we want to win, we shouldn't waste time pointing fingers," World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus urged here on Wednesday, saying "Unity is the only option to defeat this virus."
Answering a question from the press about U.S. President Donald Trump's threat to freeze U.S. funding to the WHO, Tedros said his message for the world at this moment is unity and solidarity, instead of politicizing the virus.
"I will suggest two things to the world," he told a virtual press conference from Geneva. The first is national unity, and the second is global solidarity.
Tedros stressed that at the national level, leaders should work across party lines.
"My message to political parties: do not politicize this virus. If you care for your people, work across party lines and ideologies ... Without unity, we assure you, even any country that may have a better system will be in trouble, and more crises," Tedros noted.
"No need to use COVID to score political points. You have many other ways to prove yourselves. This is not the one to use for politics, It's like playing with fire," Tedros added.
"Now, the United States and China, all the rest of G20 and the rest of the world should come together to fight the virus," he said, adding that "When there are cracks at the national level and global level, that's when the virus succeeds."
Earlier in the day, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had called for support for WHO.
"It is my belief that the World Health Organization must be supported, as it is absolutely critical to the world's efforts to win the war against COVID-19," said Guterres in a statement.