By WSJ Staff 

Heads of state and United Nations leaders addressed the U.N. General Assembly on Tuesday on the Covid-19 pandemic, laying blame and finding fault -- and imploring the body to work together to fight the virus. Here are some excerpts:

President Trump

As we pursue this bright future, we must hold accountable the nation which unleashed this plague onto the world: China.

In the earliest days of the virus, China locked down travel domestically while allowing flights to leave China and infect the world. China condemned my travel ban on their country, even as they canceled domestic flights and locked citizens in their homes.

The Chinese government, and the World Health Organization -- which is virtually controlled by China -- falsely declared that there was no evidence of human-to-human transmission. Later, they falsely said people without symptoms would not spread the disease.

The United Nations must hold China accountable for their actions.

Chinese President Xi Jinping

Facing the virus, we should enhance solidarity and get the world together. We should follow the guidance of science, give full play to the role of the World Health Organization, and launch a joint international response to beat this pandemic. Any attempt of politicizing the issue or stigmatization must be rejected.


Several vaccines developed by China are in Phase 3 clinical trials. When their development is completed and ready for use these vaccines will be made a global public good and made available to other developing countries on a priority basis.


Major countries should act like major countries. They should provide more public goods, take up their dual responsibilities, and live up to peoples' expectations.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro

As was the case in much of the world, segments of the Brazilian media have also politicized the virus by spreading panic among the population. Under the mottoes "stay at home" and "we will deal with the economy later on," they almost brought about social chaos to the country.


The pandemic teaches us a major lesson, which is that we cannot possibly depend on just a few nations for the production of essential inputs and means for our survival.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan

We have seen how ineffective the existing global mechanisms have been during this crisis. This was so much true that it took weeks, even months, for the Security Council, the most fundamental decision-making body of the United Nations, to include the pandemic on its agenda.

At the beginning of the pandemic, a scene emerged where countries were left on their own. Thus, we have once again seen the rightfulness of the, "The World is bigger than Five" thesis, which I have been advocating for years from this rostrum. The fate of humanity cannot be left at the mercy of a limited number of countries.

Secretary-General António Guterres

If we are to uphold our pledge "to leave no one behind" we must redouble our efforts in our response to the Covid-19 pandemic, with a particular attention to the needs of the countries in special situations, including the [least developed countries]. Covid vaccines must be distributed fairly and equitably.


(END) Dow Jones Newswires

September 22, 2020 12:12 ET (16:12 GMT)

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