This pandemic is like no other. And no other pandemic has ever been so politicised and subjected to such self-serving posturing as the Covid-19.
The IMF's conclusion about the virus was exact and emphatic – this is a crisis like no other. It is complex and this crisis is truly global.
Undoubtedly, we the people of the world are now in an unprecedented time which calls for exceptional leadership and action. Considering the magnitude of the crisis, Kristalina Georieva, IMF managing director, said the response should be like no other.
The global response in reality is now quite perplexing; full of suspicion and blame game, self-preserving moves instead of concerted efforts, and is also dangerously politicised. That has shifted the global effort to fight this existential threat to humanity to a different level.
The muddying of the event was initiated by no other person than the US President Donald Trump, a firm believer for a long time that the coronavirus was not a major threat.
His later insinuations that the WHO had been slow to act, that it was influenced by China, that its travel ban advice came too late, and finally, his decision to stop funding the WHO have caused the global fight against the pandemic to stumble.
All of these allegations may or may not be worthwhile, but unwarranted at this time. The virus is something very new, and it took some time for scientists to understand how virulent it was. As soon as that became clearer, the WHO sounded the alarm.
However, the WHO faltered in calling it a pandemic although it was quite clear that it was of such proportion. Early declaration would have prepared the world timely. After all, even a day wasted was detrimental in this pandemic.
And yes, the WHO issued the travel ban advice a bit late. When America banned flights from China in January, it was the WHO that had criticised it. Today, most commercial flights are grounded. Only if the WHO had made the call for a flight ban earlier, many countries including Bangladesh might have been spared from the outbreak. The WHO must take this responsibility on itself.
But the travel ban was the triggering event for a major economic shock and so before doing it the WHO must have hesitated.
Trump, however, is under criticism himself for his handling of the Covid-19 crisis. His treating the matter lightly has taken the US down a path of medical, health and economic crises that it now finds beyond its capacity to handle. On top of this, his politicisation of the lockdown is beyond abominable.
When the whole world is locked down and is thinking of further stretching it to flatten the pandemic curve, he has given political support to Republican-led protests for withdrawal of the lockdown.
The images of health workers in green uniforms standing firm on the street to block lockdown violators have drawn incredulous attention from the world.
Following the accusation that the WHO had hid the information of the spread of the virus in Wuhan, China, Trump has announced suspension of US funding to the global health organisation to which it contributes 15 percent of its budget.
However, US scientists working in the WHO on behalf of the US rebuffed Trump's allegations and said they had been providing the US information about the virus right from the beginning, only the US did not pay heed.
But Trump has taken the pandemic to another level of international politicisation when he first termed Covid-19 as "China virus" to add both a racist and a geopolitical spin to the crisis.
Then he ramped up allegations that China has not done enough to fight the pandemic. China had to launch a diplomatic offensive to counter this attack and China's UN ambassador sent letters to all member states assuring them that "China is fighting not just for itself, but also for the world."
And China proved it by its actions.
As Italy pleaded for equipment and testing kits while the runaway pandemic spread around the country, the EU abandoned it. No European countries could offer any help. It was China that sent its medics and medical equipment to Italy. China is helping other countries too to fight the virus.
China itself can take credit for containing the virus in its country by enforcing strict lockdown and other measures.
But then the political attack took a more sinister turn when the Trump administration started airing allegations that the virus had escaped from a laboratory in Wuhan and caused the global havoc.
Trump also threatened dire consequences if that were so and said he would send investigators to find out the "truth".
Not that the possibility of the virus escaping a laboratory did not strike anybody before. But scientists have studied the virus structure and came to the conclusion that it is not a laboratory product. It is a naturally occurring virus.
But that did not stop Trump from playing his political hand to drum up public anger in the USA and many take it as a continuity of his pre-pandemic China bashing policy.
Meantime, other countries have also levelled guns at China.
French President Emmanuel Macron questioned China's handling of the outbreak, saying it was naive to suggest that it had dealt with the crisis well.
On last Thursday, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: "We'll have to ask the hard questions about how it came about and how it couldn't have been stopped earlier."
"We can't have business as usual after this crisis," he added.
In the wake of the political hullabaloo, the WHO chief has said that partisan politics and lack of global solidarity are helping to fuel the coronavirus pandemic.
"Don't use this virus as an opportunity to fight against each other or score political points. It's dangerous. It's like playing with fire," he said.
Chris Patten, the last British governor of Hong Kong and a former EU commissioner for external affairs, who is now Chancellor of the University of Oxford, says Trump's approach – attacking China at every opportunity and now announcing the suspension of US funding for the WHO – seems to put America in in the wrong in the eyes of many who should be its friends. After all, we need a better and more effective WHO, not a bankrupt and toothless one.
For example, WHO's leadership role will be vital in preventing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) from causing up to ten million deaths annually by 2050. Moreover, because China is one of the world's largest producers and heaviest users of antibiotics, addressing the AMR threat also requires us to work with President Xi Jinping as long as he is in power.
But the more alarming aspect of this whole politicising of the Covid-19 pandemic is that this, in all likelihood, is not going to be the last pandemic that mankind will face. With the destruction of the environment, climate change and poison belching out every day from giant factories, the earth will certainly see many more new germs in future.
If we have to survive, it has to be a concerted effort, science based and politically unbiased, not the irrational response we are seeing today.