Giving up on controlling COVID-19 is 'dangerous' -WHO

"Although we agree with the chief of staff, that controlling the vulnerable, I mean, protecting the vulnerable is important. But giving up on control is dangerous and control should also be part of the strategy," said Tedros.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday that the administration was "not going to control the pandemic," and was instead focused on vaccines and therapeutics.

Trump on Monday disagreed with Meadows, saying he had not given up trying to control the pandemic - "absolutely the opposite" - and accused the news media of focusing on the public health crisis to hurt him politically.

Video Transcript

TEDROS ADHANOM GHEBREYESUS: If the government can do its share-- the contact tracing, the testing, contact tracing, and the rest-- and the rest of the transmission control is actually up to the community-- wearing a mask, keeping physical distance, hand hygiene, and the rest. So transmission, controlling transmission, is not only the government's responsibility, but it's also the business of each and every individual.

So nobody should give up on this. Government should do its share, and our citizens should do their share and do everything to minimize transmission. So we should not give up. And that's why we're saying, although we agree with the chief of staff that controlling the vulnerable-- I mean, protecting the vulnerable is important, but giving up on control is dangerous. And control should also be part of the strategy. And the government should do its share, and the citizens also should do their share.