A year on, WHO still struggling
to manage pandemic response
When the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus
a pandemic one year ago Thursday, it did so only after weeks of
resisting the term and maintaining that the highly infectious virus
could still be stopped.
A year later, the U.N. agency is still struggling to keep on top of the
evolving science of COVID-19, to persuade countries to abandon
their nationalistic tendencies and help get vaccines where they're
The agency made some costly missteps along the way: It advised
people against wearing masks for months and asserted that
COVID-19 wasn't widely spread in the air. It also declined to
publicly call out countries particularly China for mistakes that
senior WHO officials grumbled about privately.
That created some tricky politics that challenged WHO's
credibility and wedged it between two world powers, setting off
vociferous Trump administration criticism that the agency is only
now emerging from.
President Joe Biden's support for WHO may provide some much-
needed breathing space, but the organisation still faces a
monumental task ahead as it tries to project some moral authority
amid a universal scramble for vaccines that is leaving billions of
people unprotected. Read More