Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attending a press briefing on Covid-19 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva.

World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus attending a press briefing on Covid-19 at the WHO headquarters in Geneva. (Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images)

"No Return to the 'Old Normal' for Foreseeable Future," Warns WHO Chief

"If the basics aren't followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go. It's going to get worse and worse and worse."

Andrea Germanos

The head of the World Health Organization warned Monday that a "return to the 'old normal'" was not in "the foreseeable future" and urged global leaders to act cooperatively to control the coronavirus pandemic.

"Let me blunt, too many countries are headed in the wrong direction," WHO Director-General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said at a media briefing.

Tedros's remarks came as the total number of total coronavirus cases continued ticking upward, nearing 13 million globally. More than 570,000 Covid-19 deaths have been recorded worldwide, over 134,000 of which were in the United States.

The U.S.—which has the highest number of cases in the world—recorded over 3.2 million cases as of Monday, an increase of over 60,000 Sunday. Infections continue to rise in dozens of U.S. states including Florida, which on Sunday broke the national record for the largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases with over 15,000.

The WHO chief didn't single out the U.S. in his comments but noted, "The epicentre of the virus remains in the Americas, where more than 50% of the world's cases have been recorded."

The trajectory of the pandemic if governments fail to "roll out a comprehensive strategy focused on suppressing transmission and saving lives" and individuals don't take public health measures like wearing masks is clear, said Tedros.

"If the basics aren't followed, there is only one way this pandemic is going to go," Tedros said. "It's going to get worse and worse and worse."

"I want to be straight with you," he continued, "there will be no return to the 'old normal' for the foreseeable future."

But, he stressed, "it is never too late to take decisive action."

Tedros said governments must take out "all the tools we have to bring this pandemic under control" and act to "accelerate the science as quickly as possible."

The White House, meanwhile, continues to downplay the threat of the pandemic and discredit statements made by the nation's top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly bashed the WHO throughout the pandemic and announced last week that the U.S. is formally withdrawing from the global health body. 


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

As End of Roe Looms, US Doctors Say 'Abortion Is Essential Healthcare'

"Although ACOG's long-standing abortion policy supported safe, legal, evidence-based abortion care, the current reproductive health crisis calls for revisions which make it unmistakably clear that ACOG trusts doctors and patients," said the group.

Julia Conley ·


Biaggi to Primary 'Selfish Corporate Democrat' Sean Patrick Maloney in NY

The New York state senator says she's running "to protect and defend our democracy, to halt the climate crisis, to grow our supply of affordable housing, and to transform our government and economy to serve us all."

Andrea Germanos ·


'Not About Nostalgia': Poor People's Campaign Marches in Memphis Ahead of DC Gathering

"It's been 54 years since the sanitation worker's march," said Bishop William J. Barber II, "and right here in Memphis they still don't have union rights."

Kenny Stancil ·


Greenhouse Gases Trapped Nearly 50% More Heat Last Year Than in 1990: NOAA

"Getting hot in here," said one climate campaigner. "Gotta get congressmen and senators to do more midday outdoor events in their dark suits."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Perverse' Supreme Court Ruling 'Effectively Ensures That Innocent People Will Remain Imprisoned'

"This is radical. This is horrifying. This is extremely scary," said one public defender.

Jessica Corbett ·

Common Dreams Logo