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WHO boss: Politicizing COVID-19 will lead to 'many more body bags'

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He warned world leaders after being asked about President Trump's criticism of the agency

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP via Getty Images)

The director-general of the World Health Organization reacted to President Donald Trump's recent criticism of the agency by warning international leaders Wednesday that politicizing the coronavirus pandemic would lead to "many more body bags."

What are the details?

Fox News reported that WHO chief Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was asked during a news conference about President Trump's condemnation of the organization from the day before, when the U.S. president referred to the WHO as "China-centric" and threatened to freeze its funding.

"If you don't want many more body bags you refrain from politicizing it — please quarantine politicizing COVID," Tedros said, before reiterating, "My short message is please quarantine politicizing COVID — the unity of your country will be very important to defeat this dangerous virus."

Tedros continued, "The United States and China should come together and fight this dangerous enemy, they should come together to fight it and the rest of the G-20 should come together to fight it, and the rest of the world should come together and fight it.

"We will have many body bags in front of us if we don't behave," the director-general added. "When there are cracks at [the] national level and global level, that is when the virus succeeds."

On Tuesday morning, President Trump hit out at the WHO on Twitter, saying the agency "really blew it" in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and questioned why the organization advised the administration against banning travel from China months ago.

During a briefing from the White House later that day, President Trump told reporters that the WHO has "been wrong about a lot of things," and criticized the agency for appearing "to be very China-centric."

"So we will be looking into that very carefully, and we're gonna put a hold on money spent to the WHO," President Trump said. "We're gonna put a very powerful hold on it, and we're going to see. It is a great thing if it works, but when they call every shot wrong, that is no good."

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