The World Health Organization chief attacked US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's "unacceptable" claims that the Director-General had been "bought" by China and said countries should focus on saving lives during the coronavirus pandemic, in one of his strongest rebuttals to date against criticism from the United States.
Pompeo made the claim about Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus during a private meeting with British lawmakers in London on Tuesday, Labour MP Chris Bryant confirmed to CNN.
The Secretary of State also referred to China's efforts to "co-opt" WHO at a news conference in London on Tuesday, when he said the world needed to ensure every country, including China, behaved in ways that were consistent with the international order.
"You can't go make claims for maritime regions that you have no lawful claim to. You can't threaten countries and bully them in the Himalayas. You can't engage in cover-ups and co-opt international institutions like the World Health Organization," said Pompeo.
When asked to comment on Pompeo's remarks on Thursday, Tedros said "the comments are untrue and unacceptable and without any foundation, for that matter."