U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Friday the world is not only fighting the “common enemy” of the coronavirus “but our enemy is also the growing surge of misinformation” about COVID-19 disease.

To overcome the virus, he said, “we need to urgently promote facts and science” and “promote hope and solidarity over despair and division.”

Guterres said the U.N. is launching a COVID-19 Communications for Solidarity Initiative to rapidly inform people about the facts and science, “and promote and inspire acts of humanity around the world.”

The U.N. chief also urged all nations “to stand up against the increase in hate crimes targeting individuals and groups perceived to be associated with the coronavirus.” He didn’t identify any targets but Asians, and especially ethnic Chinese, have reported being singled out for attacks.

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3:29Coronavirus outbreak: WHO director announces 1st patients will be enrolled in ‘solidarity’ drug trial

Coronavirus outbreak: WHO director announces 1st patients will be enrolled in ‘solidarity’ drug trial

Miguel Moratinos, head of the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations, and Adama Dieng, the U.N. special adviser on the prevention of genocide, issued a joint statement Thursday expressing grave concern at the increase in stigma, hate speech and hate crimes over the pandemic.

“We are all facing the same enemy, one which is invisible,

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