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Science  14 Feb 2020:
Vol. 367, Issue 6479, pp. 730-733
DOI: 10.1126/science.367.6479.730

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Summary

When Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus took office as director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO) on 1 July 2017, he brought an ambitious to-do list: Reform WHO, strengthen evidence-based decision-making, highlight the health impact of climate change, and provide 1 billion more people with health coverage. But now, the rapid spread of a novel coronavirus, declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern last month, will overshadow his stated priorities. It puts Tedros in a difficult position: If he wants WHO to stay informed about what's happening in China and influence how the country handles the epidemic, he cannot afford to antagonize the notoriously touchy Chinese government—even though it is clear the country has been less than fully transparent about the outbreak's early stages, and perhaps still is. And how Tedros handles the unfolding crisis will shape not just his legacy, but the future of WHO.

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