President Donald Trump is claiming the World Well being Group shifted its stance on lockdown measures to regulate COVID-19 and has now acknowledged he was proper to say such restrictions are dangerous.
That’s a distortion.
TRUMP: “The World Health Organization just admitted that I was right. Lockdowns are killing countries all over the world. The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself. Open up your states, Democrat governors. Open up New York. A long battle, but they finally did the right thing!” — tweet Monday.
WHITE HOUSE: “Over the weekend, the World Health Organization officially changed their policy and strongly stated that prolonged lockdowns must end because of their significant harms.” — White Home official in name Monday with reporters, talking on situation of anonymity.
THE FACTS: They’re twisting phrases out of context. WHO has not shifted its place that nationwide stay-at-home orders or “lockdowns” ought to be thought of a measure of final resort to comprise the virus. Nor did it ever declare that Trump “was right” on his COVID-19 response.
Trump seemed to be referring to feedback made final week by Dr. David Nabarro, one in all six particular envoys to the WHO on COVID-19. He advised the British journal The Spectator that lockdowns ought to be thought of as only one measure amongst many to regulate the virus, with an intention to present international locations “breathing space” to roll out different, higher anti-COVID measures.
“We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus,” Nabarro mentioned. He added that lockdowns can solely be justified “to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted. But by and large, we’d rather not do it.”
Since declaring the coronavirus a pandemic in March, WHO has mentioned that if international locations resolve to enter lockdown, it ought to be thought of momentary and they need to use the time to implement measures like testing, tracing, informing native populations and selling bodily distancing.
Nowhere in his interview did Nabarro point out Trump. Nabarro has advocated a “middle path” in addressing the coronavirus, with measures in between lockdowns and permitting the virus to “run wild and build up herd immunity” and disappear — which Trump has promoted.
Within the early months of the pandemic, Trump pushed for a lifting of lockdown orders as the pinnacle of WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, warned that easing restrictions prematurely might “lead to a deadly resurgence.” Trump has been essential of WHO and has ordered a U.S. pullout from the group subsequent July — saying WHO was too accepting of China’s explanations of its dealing with of the early outbreak.
The United Nations physique has been inconsistent at instances with its suggestions, corresponding to mask-wearing that it first opposed for most of the people. It has additionally lagged governments in pushing border closings. However on “stay at home” lockdown measures, it hasn’t modified.
“We have been very consistent from the beginning on this pandemic,” WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic advised reporters Tuesday. “National lockdowns shouldn’t be the default control measure, but movement restrictions may be among a range of measures governments can consider in certain geographical areas.”
Related Press author Maria Cheng in London contributed to this report.
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