WHO seeks $675M to fight new virus

The director-general of the World Health Organization has asked for $675 million to help countries address the expected spread of the new virus that emerged in China.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus acknowledged that the sum is a lot, but says it is "much less than the bill we will face if we do not invest in preparedness now."

Tedros says in the last 24 hours, the U.N. health agency has seen the biggest jump in cases since the start of the epidemic.

Tedros also responded to published comments from John Mackenzie, a member of WHO’s coronavirus emergency committee, that China’s initial response to the outbreak was "reprehensible" and that cases were not rapidly reported. He said he would have expected higher numbers of cases if China had been hiding them.

"I don’t think it helps now," Tedros said of speculation about any mistakes in the early stages of the outbreak. "Let’s take the action we can take today to prevent this outbreak from spreading all over the world."