Response to coronavirus could shape legacy of WHO and its director-general

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the World Health Organization, must navigate myriad political and economic factors as the agency responds to coronavirus outbreak, according to news reports.

A February 10, 2020, Science article explored the challenges Ghebreyesus faces, and discussed how he’s applying lessons learned from his experience dealing with Ebola outbreaks and his seven-year tenure as Ethiopia’s minister of health to the coronavirus outbreak.

Ashish Jha, K.T. Li Professor of Global Health and dean for global strategy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, said that how Ghebreyesus’ responds will have a significant impact on how the world perceives him as well as WHO. “How things go over the next weeks and months will end up having a very big impact on how much the world values WHO,” Jha said.

Read the Science article: Mission impossible? WHO director fights to prevent a pandemic without offending China