WHO Director-General, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, has appointed former Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark as the leaders for the newly created Independent Panel for Pandemic Preparedness and Response.
The director made the announcement with the hope that the new leaders will give an “honest assessment” of the global response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Ghebreyesus said, “I cannot Imagine two more strong-minded, independent leaders to help guide us through this critical learning process to help us understand what happened — an honest assessment and to help us understand also what we should do to prevent such a tragedy in the future.”
The announcement comes after the WHO’s general assembly in May called for a comprehensive evaluation of the WHO and the world response to the outbreak.
It comes after repeated criticism by U.S. president Donald Trump’s administration of the U.N. health agency over its handling of the pandemic and alleged deference to China, where COVID-19 first emerged.