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WHO chief: Worst of coronavirus pandemic still ahead

The director of the World Health Organization (WHO) warned Monday that the worst of the coronavirus pandemic is still ahead.

“Trust us. The worst is yet ahead of us,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a briefing.“Let’s prevent this tragedy. It’s a virus that many people still don’t understand.” 

The pandemic globally had infected nearly 2.5 million people and killed more than 167,000, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University

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Tedros's comments come as President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinnesota certifies Biden victory Trump tells allies he plans to pardon Michael Flynn: report Republican John James concedes in Michigan Senate race MORE has ordered the halt of funding to WHO, citing missteps in how the organization dealt with the pandemic. The move is supported by some conservatives but was met with blowback from others, including business groups and Democrats.

Tedros urged global solidarity and national unity in order to continue fighting the virus and help limit future deaths. 

The global community has to take the virus on as a “common enemy for humanity” in order to defy it, he said. 

“Please let's consider those who are dying as individuals, they are not numbers or figures. Even one life is precious,” Tedros said. 

He said the novel coronavirus is a “dangerous combination,” comparing it to the 1918 influenza outbreak. 

“This is happening in a hundred years for the first time again, like the 1918 flu that killed up to 100 million people,” he said. “But now we have technology, we can prevent that disaster, we can prevent that kind of crisis.”