WHO DG: “Racists in the world threaten my life”


Tedros Ghebreyesus

Tedros Ghebreyesus, the Ethiopia-born microbiologist who is the Director-General of the World Health Organisation (WHO), mid week said he had received death threats and racist insults in the course of leading the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the CNBC, the Ethiopian microbiologist said: “I can tell you personal attacks that have been going on for more than two, three months.”

He reportedly told reporters during a conference call from the organisation’s Geneva headquarters about “abuses, racist comments and (those) giving him names, (like) black or Negro.”

“I’m proud of being black, proud of being Negro,” he told reporters “I don’t care, to be honest … even death threats. I don’t give a damn.”

Mr Ghebreyesus, as Premium Times put it also, was responding to a question about whether criticism from world leaders such as President Donald Trump in the midst of a global pandemic makes it more difficult to operate the WHO.

Mr Ghebreyesus commented specifically on insults that he said came from Taiwan.

“Three months ago, this attack came from Taiwan. We need to be honest. I will be straight today. From Taiwan,” he said.

“And Taiwan, the Foreign Ministry also, they know the campaign. They didn’t disassociate themselves. They even started criticising me in the middle of all that insult and slur, but I didn’t care.”