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Myths, misinformation, racism top COVID-19

BESIDES myths and misinformation, racism has also characterised the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
Myths around COVID-19 include how the pandemic is spread, including its cure, which is yet to be found.
Misinformation, on the other hand, has become more virulent than the virus itself…the ease of communication of the 21st century has become a double-edged sword in fighting the pandemic.
With the cure still out of sight, although scientists around the world have converged in laboratories to nip the virus, which had as of Monday, April 13, 2020 infected 1, 807,308 people worldwide, resulting in 113, 513 deaths, causing frustrations among some world leaders who have resorted to covert racist attacks against World Health Organisation Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who hails from Ethiopia, an African country.
The West, which is scrambling to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, is now trying to scapegoat Dr Tedros for the scourge.
At a time when the wealthiest nations are plagued by a critical supply shortage of personal protective equipment and ventilators, and when one of the hard-hit states of the US, New York, relies on donations from China, the question should be: how successful are these countries in dealing with the pandemic? In relation to this, the ongoing campaign calling for the resignation of the WHO leader is a little bit off track. Perhaps, Dr Tedros, who happens to be from Africa (Ethiopia), has become just another victim of covert racism.
The West did not support Dr Tedros but instead endorsed a British during the WHO elections in 2017.
China and Africa supported him.
Doctors in France want to test the unsafe vaccine in Africa because they consider Africans to be guinea pigs, but Dr Tedros, a patriotic African, is protecting the continent.
United States President Donald Trump has criticised the WHO and has issued a veiled threat to withhold US funding for the organisation, which is at the forefront of fighting the pandemic that has infected more than 1.6 million people worldwide.
The US Department of State wondered why the WHO did not pursue a lead offered by Taiwan in the early days of the pandemic; claiming the organisation was too late in sounding the alarm over COVID-19 and showed too much deference to China.
Taiwan has joined in the criticism of the WHO.
But China has in turn accused Taiwan of unjustifiably criticising WHO and taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to seek independence, and conspiring with internet users to spread racist comments, after the WHO chief said a racist attack directed at him had come from the island.
It is clear that countries like the US are obviously hard-hit by the pandemic, and part of the reason is that they were unprepared.
And that will obviously have political ramifications in the upcoming elections later this year. In order to avoid that, they have to find someone to blame. Apparently, Dr Tedros has become an easy target.
Racism is systemic and deeply embedded in international relations. The West is too arrogant to accept a black man to be in charge of international bodies, let alone stand up to them.
It is the reason the West has been wanting to experiment a vaccine on a continent hardly touched by the pandemic, leaving their own countries that have been ravaged by the disease.
Africa has to demonstrate solidarity by defending WHO and its head while rebuking the racism that has been exhibited.

The author is editorials editor at the Zambia Daily Mail.