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WHO denies politics swayed Ebola emergency declaration

WHO spokeswoman: Politics played no role in the declaration of an Ebola emergency

WHO denies politics swayed Ebola emergency declaration

LONDON (AP) -- The World Health Organization denies that politics swayed the decision to declare an international emergency over the spread of the Ebola virus in West Africa despite evidence showing senior staffers discussing the diplomatic and economic fallout of such a move.

A year on from WHO's declaration that it had found Ebola in Guinea, the agency is on the defensive over allegations that it dragged its feet when raising the international alarm over the disease. Internal communications published by The Associated Press last week showed senior agency directors as discouraging the move, citing diplomatic relations, mining interests and the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca.

WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris said Monday that "political considerations did not play a role." Neither she nor WHO have responded to detailed questions about the documents.

Updated : 2021-06-20 19:01 GMT+08:00