As billions hunker down to halt the spread of the virus, President Donald Trump has only ramped up sanctions and other pressure against frequent targets such as Iran and Venezuela.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has led calls for an "immediate global ceasefire" to refocus on fighting COVID-19 and on Friday appealed for the "waiving of sanctions that can undermine countries' capacity to respond to the pandemic."
The appeals have fallen on deaf ears in Washington. The Trump administration has kept sweeping sanctions on Iran, one of the countries worst hit by the pandemic, and in recent weeks has blacklisted more Iranians including over the clerical regime's heavy involvement in neighboring Iraq.
On Venezuela, which like Iran has appealed for IMF help to cope with the health crisis, the Justice Department on Thursday unveiled criminal charges on drug-trafficking against President Nicolas Maduro, with a $15 million reward for his arrest.