WHO official: Coronavirus may be disease ‘that stalks the human race’ until there is a vaccine
An official with the World Health Organization cautioned that the coronavirus is likely not seasonal but will rather continue sporadically until researchers are able to make a vaccine.
The WHO’s special envoy, Dr. David Nabarro, made the remarks during a Sunday appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press.
“We’re not so sure that it will come in waves in the way that influenza does,” Nabarro explained. “We think it’s going to be a virus that stalks the human race for quite a long to come until we can all have a vaccine that will protect us. And that there will be small outbreaks that will emerge sporadically, and they will break through our defenses.
“So, the key for this particular virus is that every community, as a kind of defensive shield, can pick up cases as soon as they appear, isolate them, and stop outbreaks from developing,” he continued. “It’s going to be necessary for every single country to have that capacity.” Recommended For YouObama finally endorses Biden for president
Nabarro’s comments come a week after President Trump said he was considering a hold on the “vast amounts” of funds the country sends to the WHO each year. Trump has criticized the WHO for not supporting a travel ban he implemented on China and for being too “China-centric.”
When asked if China has been upfront about the coronavirus and data related to its spread, Nabarro said the WHO had to “work with the information we got.”
“We don’t have, in the World Health Organization, the power to go and inspect beyond what countries tell us. That’s been made clear in the treaty that governments agreed in 2005 on how nations work together and how the WHO operates,” Nabarro said. “But I say this, that they [China] did invite a team, pulled together by the World Health Organization, to come and inspect everything in mid-February.”
“There were no restrictions on what that team investigated. It included American experts as well as experts from others in the world,” Nabarro added. “We have been given access to the information we requested, and so, therefore, I do not like, at any time, to say we don’t believe.”
China’s official death count has been disputed. Residents in the country’s Hubei province, where the virus originated, have cited large numbers of funeral urns to claim the country’s death toll far exceeds the government’s official tally.
As of Easter Sunday, there have been more than 530,000 cases of coronavirus in the United States and at least 20,614 deaths.