Dr. Mike Ryan, who serves as the agency's authority on emergencies, told an online briefing Wednesday that the virus might be impervious to total obliteration, Reuters reported.
“It is important to put this on the table: This virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities, and this virus may never go away,” he said
“I think it is important we are realistic and I don’t think anyone can predict when this disease will disappear,” Ryan added. “I think there are no promises in this and there are no dates. This disease may settle into a long problem, or it may not be.”
He also claimed a vaccine may not be able to knock out the virus completely, citing measles as an example
The WHO's credibility, however, has come under fire in recent months for its attitude towards China and its failure to properly report the facts.
The agency put out a tweet in January citing Chinese officials, who claimed there was no human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus.
In an exclusive interview with Fox News last week, Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., pledged to hold the WHO and "communist China" accountable for their lack of transparency, as the Senate's Homeland Security Committee continues to investigate the recent fallout.
"We have failed to call out China for who they are -- call out these international organizations for who they are, and you see Democrats out there trying to defend the WHO. It's the craziest thing in the world," he said.
Scott added, "This is a group that said there was no local transmission when they knew there was. So we're doing an investigation. I'm on the Homeland Security Committee, so I'm going to lead the investigation of the WHO. We're going to find out what was their pandemic plan, did they follow the pandemic plan, and when did they get different information from what they put out."
China also announced last week that it would not invite international investigators to probe the origins of COVID-19 until the disease is fully defeated and a "final victory" is won.
Fox News' Gregg Re contributed to this report