U.S. Statement on the Report of the WHO Director General

U.S. Statement on the Report of the Director General
World Health Organization Executive Board
Agenda Item 3
Geneva, February 3, 2020
As delivered by Ambassador Andrew Bremberg

Thank you, Director General, for your report. To begin, we express our deepest condolences to Dr. Peter Salama’s family, friends, colleagues, and to the WHO. Dr. Salama devoted his professional life to improving health for the most vulnerable people. We will forever remember his lifetime of public service.

Updates on two critical outbreaks of international concern are extremely important. The novel coronavirus, now detected in over two dozen countries and affecting the global community, requires focused attention. We express our support, prayers, sympathy, and appreciation to the people of China and especially the health responders on the front lines, who are protecting not only their communities, but the world.

We are learning more about the virus every day and implementing appropriate public health measures, in keeping with WHO’s recommendations, to minimize the spread based on the best evidence available.  The United States is committed to working with all partners to address this outbreak. At the same time, we must remain focused on the second largest Ebola virus outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, and we will continue to support their efforts to respond.

As the last several weeks demonstrate, WHO’s work, in partnership with Member States and the global health community, is essential to prevent, detect, and respond to public health emergencies. Our collective ability to address public health threats wherever they emerge depends on timely and accurate information allowing a coordinated and inclusive response across all affected areas and public health authorities.

We look forward to the week ahead and a successful Executive Board.