As the coronavirus exploded around the globe, scientists at the World Health Organization (WHO) were sometimes privately frustrated by the mistakes made by some of their top donor countries but reluctant to say so publicly, leaked recordings of internal meetings show. After sharp criticism for not taking a stronger role in curbing the pandemic, the UN health agency holds its annual meeting this week under intense pressure to reform. WHO is also hoping that U.S. president-elect Joe Biden will reverse a decision by Washington to leave the organization made by the Trump administration in June. One of WHO’s central dilemmas is that it has no enforcement powers or authority to independently investigate epidemics. Instead, the agency relies on behind-the-scenes talks and countries’ co-operation.