Betrayed by the World Health Organization
By John Truman Wolfe
“The most egregious failure was by WHO in the delay in sounding the alarm.”
You probably think The Guardian is talking about TIOVID-19, right? Nope.
They were writing about the criminally negligent WHO’s handling of the Ebola breakout, where 11,000 + needlessly died a few years ago. Yes, some would have died but the number would be nowhere near that high if the WHO didn’t delay effective action for months.
Here’s the full paragraph.
“The most egregious failure was by WHO in the delay in sounding the alarm,” said Prof Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “People at WHO were aware that there was an Ebola outbreak that was getting out of control by spring…and yet it took until August to declare a public health emergency. The cost of the delay was enormous.”
And now, the WHO, under the command of Ethiopian Communist, Tedros Adhanom*, has done it again. Only this time the WHO’s criminally negligent delays have turned what could have been a controlled epidemic into a global pandemic: affecting some 180 countries; with thousands of sick and dying citizens; overtaxed and collapsing healthcare systems in a globally collapsed economy.
The pandemic has also resulted in economic catastrophes for hundreds of millions of individuals and families around the world.
Yes, I know, I should be communicating “Good News,” which I have done over the last several days, but if the WHO’s incompetent handling of this crisis isn’t exposed, then what happens next time someone lets one of these bugs loose?
So, I ask, how could this mess be possible, especially when this was very preventable, as Taiwan has so ably demonstrated? Here is a timeline of the matter. This is a detailed look at how the pandemic rolled out during its first 90 days. Among other things, it exposes how, time after time, the WHO had an opportunity to tell the world what was going on and slam the brakes on the growing pandemic and failed to do so.
The body that has been set up and has been paid hundreds of millions by countries around the world—especially by the U.S.—to prevent just what occurred from happening is the World Health Organization. (As a note, the largest non-governmental- donation came from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the world’s leading vaccine jihadists).
The World Health Organization of the United Nations was established in 1948 to further international cooperation for improved public health conditions. It inherited specific tasks relating to epidemic control, quarantine measures, and drug standardization from the Health Organization of the League of Nations and the International Office of Public Health in Paris.
The WHO was given a broad mandate under its institution to promote the attainment of “the highest possible level of health” by all peoples. WHO defines health positively as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease. That is what the WHO is supposed to do. But, the WHO not only failed epically, it actually created this colossal catastrophe.
The WHO did the exact opposite of what the people and the countries of earth entrusted it to do. This becomes unquestionably clear when one follows the sequence of events which are laid out below in some detail.
Timeline of the World Health Organization’s Criminal Negligence
30 Dec 2019
Dr. Li Wenliang from the Central Hospital in Wuhan sent a message on a WeChat group composed of his colleagues, the “Wuhan University Clinical Grade 4” group, alerting them that “South China Fruit and Seafood Market has confirmed 7 SARS cases that were isolated in the emergency department of our hospital.” He wanted to alert his colleagues to take precautions. While this was meant for this private chat group someone took a screenshot of it and it went viral. A day later Dr. Li Wenliang was seen by the Hospital Supervision Department and the Secretary of Discipline Inspection and was required to write a “self-reflection” for having spread a false rumor about the SARS virus message he had sent. On 3 Jan, he had to go to the local police station where he was seen by an auxiliary police officer and had to sign a “Discipline” that he had spread a false rumor about SARS.
Dr. Li later corrected this by sending another message, stating it was not SARS but an unknown coronavirus. The reason why Dr. Li thought it was a SARS virus was because one of several labs that were doing tests on this new virus mistakenly identified it as a SARS virus, which was later corrected.
A Chinese doctor alerted others to a SARS virus, which went viral on the Chinese Internet. The WHO representative in China somehow didn’t notice this despite the fact that a few years earlier, China, and the world, had gone through a painful SARS epidemic. 31 Dec 2019 China’s National Health Commission dispatched the first group of experts to Wuhan and alerted the WHO about the outbreak of pneumonia of unknown causes in Wuhan. At that point, there were at least 109 known cases.
31 Dec 2019
“Taiwan said its doctors had heard from mainland colleagues that medical staff were getting ill – a sign of human-to-human transmission. Taiwanese officials said they reported this to both the International Health Regulations (IHR), a WHO framework for the exchange of epidemic prevention and response data between 196 countries, and Chinese health authorities. The WHO did not share this information (human-to-human transmission) with other countries.
The WHO later replied that it received the message and would transfer it to other experts, but did not make it public.
From the outset, the WHO was aware of human-to-human transmission related to the outbreak of this disease, yet the WHO did not find it necessary to alert its member countries, it didn’t even bother to post it on its alert/information system.
31 Dec 2019
Taiwan took the information their doctors had received from their colleagues in Wuhan, China as a serious threat. On the same day, the Taiwanese Center for Disease Control started implementing onboard inspections on direct flights from Wuhan landing in Taiwan.
It should be noted that out of all countries, Taiwan executed the most effective containment strategy and did best in this epic global COVID-19 catastrophe. To date, it has 376 cases, 61 recovered and 5 deaths and no need for shelter-in-place or lockdown. “Taiwan’s Swift Response to Virus Threat Allowed It to Contain Outbreak.”
Had the WHO done its job, the rest of the world would look similar to this right now.
3 Jan 2020
From this day forward, the Chinese government regularly informed the WHO about the outbreak.
5 Jan 2020
China updated the WHO about the outbreak and the WHO released its first briefing on cases of pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
5 Jan 2020
China updated the WHO about the outbreak and the WHO released its first briefing on pneumonia cases in Wuhan.
5 Jan 2020
The World Health Organization (WHO) published a disease outbreak news item summarizing the information available as of 3 January 2020. Although the symptoms reported among the patients are common to several respiratory diseases, pneumonia is common in the winter season; the occurrence of the number of cases of pneumonia requiring hospitalization clustered in a short space and time, which should be handled prudently.
Yet, the WHO did not recommend any specific measures for travelers and did not advise against travel or trade restrictions being imposed on China.
6 Jan 2020
Based on the information provided by the Shanghai Public Health Center, which had conducted tests on the new virus it had been sent from Wuhan, the Chinese Central Health Authorities launched a second–level emergency response. They knew, at this point, that the virus could spread through human contact and began telling doctors to take precautions.
The WHO office in China and Geneva missed that too.
Concurrently, neighboring countries and regions such as Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Singapore started to implement thermal entry screening activities for all travelers arriving from the affected area at their transport hubs, such as airports, and train stations. According to a media report, passengers arriving in Singapore with fever and acute respiratory illness or pneumonia, who had traveled to Wuhan up to 14 days before the onset of symptoms, were being screened and isolated, with a further investigation being initiated.
The WHO Regional Office for the Western Pacific posted a statement that also mentioned the ‘preliminary determination of a novel (or new) coronavirus. It was identified in a hospitalized person with pneumonia in Wuhan. The airport of Wuhan has direct flight connections with some European Union (EU) cities: Paris (France) with six weekly flights, London (United Kingdom) with three weekly flights and Rome (Italy) with five weekly flights. Authorities in the concerned countries remained vigilant and were closely monitoring the situation. Among these countries, Italy established enhanced surveillance for incoming flights from Wuhan, China.
These countries were concerned and as a precaution implemented travel screening activities. The WHO didn’t think that this was a good idea and advised against it.
7 Jan 2020
The Chinese Academy of Engineering announced that they believed that the pathogen of the unexplained case of viral pneumonia was determined to be a new coronavirus. The group obtained the whole genome sequence of the virus. This new virus, that was causing the outbreak, was different from the human coronaviruses that had been discovered earlier.
The WHO offices in China and Geneva also missed this. A likely explanation for this is that they must all have been off on holiday leave.
9 Jan 2020
An expert team led by the Chinese CDC made a preliminary conclusion that the disease was caused by a new strain of coronavirus, according to a Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
The WHO offices in China and Geneva also missed all of this too. Mind you, it was only on national TV and the WHO already knew of human-to-human transmission, which they didn’t bother to tell anyone.
10 Jan 2020
Research institutions including the Wuhan Institute of Virology(WIV) developed testing kits. Wuhan City organized tests of all relevant cases admitted at hospitals in the city. The head of the NHC, Ma Xiaowei, talked over the phone with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus about the epidemic response. The head of China’s CDC exchanged information over the phone with Director-General Ghebreyesus. The Chinese CDC shared with the WHO the specific primers and probes for detecting the novel coronavirus.
The WHO was regularly briefed by China about the epidemic, but the WHO continued to maintain that there was no human-to-human transmission. Every layman knows that there can be no epidemic without human-to-human transmission.
11 Jan 2020
Prof Zhang’s team became the first to publish the genome sequence of the new virus on public databases Virological.org and GeneBank. This unveiled its structure to the world for the first time. The Chinese National Health Commission shared the virus genomic information with the World Health Organization. straitstimes.com/asia/east-asia/how-early-signs-of-the-coronavirus-were-spoVed-spread-and-throVled-in-china12 Jan 2020 The World Health Organization announced: “At this stage, there is no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission in the novel #coronavirus (2019-C0V) outbreak in # Wuhan, #China. However, the Chinese authorities continued intensive surveillance and follow up measures, including environmental investigations.”
The WHO was now officially informed that there was a new dangerous virus and it already knew that there was human-to-human transmission but they outright lied to the rest of the world.
13 Jan 2020
The first coronavirus case was reported in Thailand, the first known case outside China.
13 Jan 2020
The NHC held a meeting to instruct Wuhan authorities to further strengthen social management measures and body temperature monitoring of people at ports and stations, as well as reduce crowd gathering. Wuhan Municipal Health Commission updated the outbreak briefing on its official website, saying Wuhan had reported a total of 41 cases of pneumonia caused by the novel coronavirus as of Jan. 12. The WHO issued on its official website a statement on the discovery of the novel coronavirus cases in Thailand, pointing out that China’s sharing of the genome sequence enabled more countries to quickly diagnose patients.
The Wuhan government is monitoring body temperature of people at transport stations and reducing crowd gatherings and the WHO is still not alerting anyone to human-to-human transmission.
13 Jan 2020
WHO Director Dr. Tedrosannounced that he would consult with the Emergency Committee members and could call for a meeting on short notice.
13 Jan 2020
China’s central government sacked top officials in Hubei, this followed a slew of other outings earlier in the week which included the Hubei Health Commission leader Zhang Jin for “dereliction of duty in the fight against the novel coronavirus “ and Liu Yingxi, the director of the health Commission. They were replaced by Wang Heshang, the deputy director of China’s National Health Commission. Further people removed included Xia Guohua, deputy head of the Wuhan Municipal Bureau of Statistics “for violating relevant regulations to distribute face masks” and Tang Zhidong, director of the health commission of the city of Huanggang, a city in the Hubei province, because “she had unshirkable responsibility for problems including insufficient screening for suspected cases, slow progress of tests and lack of testing personnel.”
Gao Yu, a top official from Beijing overseeing the outbreak, visited Wuhan that week and criticized the conduct of medical officials “for failing to fulfill the tasks ordered by the central government.”
To be clear, the national government came down like a ton of bricks on the local officials for their handling of the outbreak.
Even if everyone was sound asleep at the WHO in China and Geneva, they might have, in their slumber, asked themselves why officials and health personnel in China are being mass fired for not distributing enough face masks and for an insufficient screening of suspected cases if this new virus was not contagious. But the WHO had already known since December that this virus was contagious.
And this move by Chinese health authorities could not have been interpreted as anything else but a massive epidemic health problem.
14 Jan 2020
The World Health Organization reported “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (3029-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.
The WHO knew better but still continued to lie to the rest of the world.
16 Jan 2020
Japanese authorities confirmed that a Japanese man who traveled to Wuhan was infected with the virus.
17 Jan 2020
Chinese health officials confirmed that a second person has died in China of this new virus. The United States responded to the outbreak by implementing screenings for symptoms at airports in San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles.
The virus spread to numerous countries but the WHO was still promoting “no human-to-human transmission.”
To repeat, it had been alerted by Taiwan, the doctors in Wuhan had gone viral warning about transmission, the Chinese government was mass punishing health officials for not providing vast amounts of human-transmission protective gear, and countries were implemen6ng travel health screening that the WHO advised against.
At this point, this was no longer criminal negligence but willful criminality.
18 Jan 2020
Xiang Nijuan, a researcher at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, said in an interview with state broadcaster CCTV that people infected with the new coronavirus were contagious two days before they showed any symptoms. Therefore, anyone who had been in close contact with someone within 48 hours of them being confirmed as infected should put themselves in isolation for 14 days.
18 Jan 2020
The President of Taiwan called on the World Health Organization not to exclude Taiwan from collaboration on the outbreak for political reasons. The President of Taiwan talked to reporters after Taiwan confirmed its first case of the coronavirus, a woman returning from Wuhan.
Reuters contacted the WHO office in Beijing which did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but WHO spokesman Tarik Jasarevic said in an email to Reuters that Taiwan was being kept informed. “Taiwan authorities, including health experts, are being informed through cross-strait channels as well as channels connected with the International Health Regulations.” “The Deputy head of China’s National Health Commission, Li Bin, told reporters in Beijing earlier that experts from Taiwan had been invited to visit Wuhan and the island was being provided with information,” Taiwan advised people not to visit Wuhan, especially in view of the Lunar New Year which involves one of the world’s largest migrations.
20 Jan 2020
The WHO published a statement on its official website saying on Jan. 20-21, a WHO delegation conducted a field visit to Wuhan to learn about the response to 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) and visited the Wuhan Tianhe Airport, Zhongnan hospital, Hubei provincial CDC. Chinese experts shared with Gauden Galea, the WHO Representative in China, Olowokure Babatunde and other members of the delegation a range of protocols that will be used in developing international guidelines, including case definitions, clinical management, and infection control among others.
At this point, the WHO was in Wuhan and could not possibly have missed the massive problem with human to human transmission. Not to mention that the WHO was continuously brief by the Chinese government.
20 Jan 2020
Zhong Nanshan with the Chinese National Health Authority announced human-to-human transmission.
21 Jan 2020
Officials in Washington state confirmed the first case on US soil.
The WHO still didn’t inform Taiwan or the rest of the world.
22 Jan 2020
Wuhan says it will “temporarily” close its airport and railway stations for departing passengers following news that the death toll from the Wuhan Coronavirus has risen to 17. Chinese authorities confirmed at least 547 cases in the mainland.
22 to 23 Jan 2020
The WHO emergency committee failed to reach a consensus in a meeting on Jan. 22 and 23.
“WHO postpones decision on declaring China coronavirus a global health emergency.”
Didier Houssin, the committee’s chair, told a news conference the body was divided “almost 50-50.” One side cited the increase in infections and the mounting evidence of the disease’s severity, he said, while the other cited the limited number of cases abroad and China’s countermeasures.
Ahead of the meeting’s second day, China locked down three cities at the center of the epidemic—Wuhan, Huanggang and Ezhou—covering some 20 million people. China pressed the committee not to recommend an emergency, according to a person familiar with its deliberations. Dr. Tedros said China explained its position but didn’t press. “Even if they did press, it wouldn’t change anything,” he said.
This has got to be a horribly bad joke by the WHO. But at least Tedros claimed full responsibility for the WHO’s actions. While China is its own issue, as far as the WHO is concerned, that was the one thing Dr. Tedros was correct on.
23 Jan 2020
The WHO stated on its website “The following elements were considered as critical: Human-to-human transmission occurring and a preliminary R0 estimate of 1.4-2.5 was presented. Amplification has occurred in one health care facility. Of confirmed cases, 25% are reported to be severe. The source is still unknown (most likely an animal reservoir) and the extent of human-to-human transmission is still not clear.”
In other words, the estimated rate of human-to-human transmission was that every infected person would spread the virus to 1.4 to 2.5 people.
Twenty-three days too late, the WHO finally said something it knew 23 days earlier. But it still decided to not issue an appropriate global alert. By now it had spread to numerous countries. But it would still have been a lot better to sound the global alarm on 23 Jan rather than on 30 Jan, which is when it did.
Dr. Tedros, who can override the committee, did not declare a Global Health Emergency despite the fact that all criteria had been met including the discovery of a novel virus, rising cases with serious public health ramifications, international spread, and impacts on travel and trade.
23 Jan 2020
The total number of coronavirus cases in China rose to 634 as local authorities quarantined at least two major cities and canceled Lunar New Year’s events in Beijing, China state television reported. Chinese authorities have suspended air and train travel in Wuhan, which is under quarantine. The virus—which was first diagnosed less than a month ago—has already killed at least 17 people in China and infected roughly 650 people around the world, including in Singapore and Saudi Arabia, according to multiple reports from international and local media. Medical teams have been dispatched to affected cities, and hospitals are asking for donations of essential items including face masks, eye protectors, protective uniforms and sanitizer. Local authorities in China have quarantined Wuhan and Huanggang, which have a combined population of 17 million, and planned a similar lockdown for Ezhou, a city of 1 million. Travel bans were in effect for at least seven cities, including Wuhan, where the virus was first flagged to world health officials on Dec. 31. China offered to refund domestic airline and train tickets nationwide. An estimated 246,000 travelers arrived in Wuhan via either plane or train on Thursday before all transportation in and out of the city was shut down. The number of people who lea the city is currently unknown.
What was the WHO thinking?
Were they deaf, dumb, blind? If this didn’t look like an epidemic then what does for the WHO?
28 Jan 2020
Dr. Tedros flew to China and met with President Xi. By then there were 4,537 confirmed cases in China, and 56 internationally. Upon his return to Geneva, Dr. Tedros reconvened the emergency committee and this time they recommended declaring an emergency citing concern about the rising cases, numbers of affected countries, and that “some countries have taken questionable measures concerning travelers.”
Dr. Tedros agreed human-to-human transmission had been detected in three countries outside China and he was concerned the virus would spread elsewhere, particularly countries with a weak health system. At the meeting, Xi and the WHO agreed to send a team of international experts, including the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention staff, to China to investigate the coronavirus outbreak.
While the WHO knew all along, at this point it was a crucial month later. At this point, the horse was out of the barn and now the WHO decided to look into it and to start thinking about whether to close the barn gate. This is unbelievable.
29 Jan 2020
“WHO advises against the application of any restrictions on international traffic based on the information currently available on this event.”
The WHO was still advising against travel restric6ons at this stage. What was the WHO trying to accomplish? All of its ac6ons didn’t stop the spread but accelerated it.
30 Jan 2020
President Trump bans foreign nationals from entering the US if they were in China within the prior two weeks.
30 Jan 2020
Statement on the second meeting of the International Health Regulations (2005) Emergency Committee regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV)”
Representatives of the Ministry of Health of the People’s Republic of China reported on the current situation and the public health measures being taken.
There are now 7711 confirmed and 12167 suspected cases throughout the country. Of the confirmed cases, 1370 are severe and 170 people have died. 124 people have recovered and been discharged from the hospital. The WHO Secretariat provided an overview of the situation in other countries. There are now 83 cases in 18 countries. Of these, only 7 had no history of travel in China. There has been human-to-human transmission in 3 countries outside China. One of these cases is severe and there have been no deaths. At its first meeting, the Committee expressed divergent views on whether this event constitutes a PHEIC or not (Public Health Emergency of International Concern). At that time, the advice was that the event did not constitute a PHEIC, but the Committee members agreed on the urgency of the situation and suggested that the Committee should continue its meeting on the next day when it reached the same conclusion.”
“The Committee welcomed the leadership and political commitment of the very highest levels of the Chinese government, their commitment to transparency, and the efforts made to investigate and contain the current outbreak. China quickly identified the virus and shared its sequence, so that other countries could diagnose it quickly and protect themselves, which has resulted in the rapid development of diagnostic tools. The very strong measures the country has taken include daily contact with WHO and comprehensive multi-sectoral approaches to prevent further spread. It has also taken public health measures in other cities and provinces; is conducting studies on the severity and transmissibility of the virus, and sharing data and biological material. The country has also agreed to work with other countries who need their support.”
The Committee acknowledged the leading role of WHO and its partners. The Committee also acknowledged that there are still many unknowns, cases have now been reported in five WHO regions in one month, and human-to-human transmission has occurred outside Wuhan and outside China. The Committee believes that it is still possible to interrupt virus spread, provided that countries put in place strong measures to detect the disease early, isolate and treat cases, trace contacts, and promote social distancing measures commensurate with the risk. It is important to note that as the situation continues to evolve, so will the strategic goals and measures to prevent and reduce the spread of the infection.
“The Committee agreed that the outbreak now meets the criteria for Public Health Emergency of International Concern and proposed the following advice to be issued as Temporary.”
“Under Article 43 of the IHR, States Parties implementing additional health measures that significantly interfere with international traffic (refusal of entry or departure of international travelers, baggage, cargo, containers, conveyances, goods, and the like, or their delay, for more than 24 hours) are obliged to send to WHO the public health rationale and justification within 48 hours of their implementation. WHO will review the justification and may request countries to reconsider their measures. WHO is required to share with other States Parties the information about measures and the justification received.”
3 Feb 2020
Director-General of the WHO, Dr. Tedros, said that there was no need to “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade”.
4 Feb 2020
Dr. Tedros said that widespread travel bans and restrictions weren’t needed to stop the outbreak and could “have the effect of increasing fear and stigma, with a little public health benefit.”
Wednesday, before 12 Feb 2020, Dr. Tedros denied the WHO bowed to Chinese pressure. He claims China’s actions don’t contradict WHO standards and have slowed the virus spread. “They are reducing the vulnerability of other countries.”
The WHO finally declared a global health emergency and it believed that it was still possible to interrupt virus spread. While 23 Jan was horribly late already, the period between 23 Jan and 30 Jan was of significant importance. Chinese New Year’s celebrations ended on 23 January and millions of Chinese and tourists left China afterward between 23 Jan and 30 Jan, facilitating the spread of the virus all over the globe.
But incredibly, the WHO was still not encouraging travel restrictions. Also, the WHO admitted that it was in daily communication with China, which means that it was fully aware of everything that is laid out above. Yet, it withheld for weeks human-to-human transmission, it advised against travel restrictions and it waited to sound the global alarm until after millions of people had left China.
11 Feb 2020
The WHO announces a name for the new coronavirus disease: COVID-19.
At the very least, the WHO came up with a marketing term for the virus.
20 Mar 2020
Director-General of the WHO, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus tweeted “I am proud to announce that today we launched a new @WHO Health Alert messaging service via @WhatsApp. This service will provide the latest news & Information on #COVID19, including details on symptoms on how to protect yourself. To subscribe, click here
…”Coronavirus (COVID-19) events as they happen @WHO.
26 Mar 2020
In a tweet, Director General of the WHO stated, “Honoured to address the @g20org Extraordinary Summit on #COVID19, chaired by @KingSalman. I asked them to 1. Fight as our lives depend on it because they do. 2 Unite. We will only get out of this together. 3. Ignite a global movement to ensure this never happens again.
Wow, the WHO to the rescue.
So, what was the net outcome of the WHO willful criminality so far:
1,411,332 people infected with the virus in over 180 countries.
81,048 people died (that is fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, health workers, doctors, ambulance personnel, police officers, delivery personnel, grocery store personnel to name a few that put their lives on the line to make up for the WHO’s damage and died because of it unnecessarily.)
A $15 trillion-dollar loss in stock market value in the first week of the global lockdown alone.
In the US, a $6 trillion-dollar relief package in an attempt to keep individual citizens, companies large and small and the largest economy in the world from collapsing.
Millions of people unemployed and in some countries that don’t have strong social security arrangements like India this creates enormous problems for millions of people that survive day to day, or on the basis of a weekly paycheck.
The WHO sought to evade responsibility by issuing a statement in mid-January that, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (3029-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, # China.”
But the WHO knew this to be false.
The WHO is meant to be a global health organization. In that, it not only failed miserably but purposefully.
The World Health Organization should be severely punished. It has been paid billions to prevent this, however, it went out of its way to promote and accelerate the spread. The WHO is the body that is responsible for this epic global catastrophe. And the last thing that should happen is to allocate more funds to it in order to “prevent this in the future.”
Any employee that screws up this bad get fired, they don’t get a raise or get promoted.
Clearly, changing the Director-General of the WHO would be cosmetic and ineffective as their handling of the earlier Ebola epidemic was similarly destructive under a different Director-General.
Where to go from here?
This could have been prevented from being such an epic human and economic disaster. Taiwan is the living proof of this. But this depends on effective information collection and an effective body that can act.
In fact, a pandemic is not merely a health matter, it is primarily an International – National Security matter of which health is an element as we have painfully learned. And for that reason, pandemics cannot be the purview solely of the WHO. Pandemics have to be dealt with by the UN Security Council as this puts it under the control of the member countries directly. This would require a UN Security Council protocol that would permit on-site inspections by experts dispatched by the Council within 48 hours with the proviso that sending these experts could not be vetoed (but that would be the only thing that couldn’t be vetoed.) If they can’t come to an agreement on that, then any country that doesn’t permit an inspection is automatically treated as if they were an imminent threat of spreading a pandemic. The dispatched experts would conduct an immediate on the ground inspection and provide this to the council within one week and based on this the UN Security Council then makes recommendations.
These are recommendations, not orders. If a country doesn’t take heed, all other countries would have the prerogative to close the borders with that country and if the country needed help for its negligence, the UN Security Council would provide assistance, but the country would be billed via the UN Security Council. The UN Security Council’s actions would supersede whatever the WHO would do.
For countries, pandemics now have become the number one national security concern. And for that reason, regardless of what health bodies do, pandemics become a permanent priority for the intelligence communities of the nations of this planet. Health bodies have proven repeatedly that they cannot be relied on in this regard. And the purpose of this is to prevent pandemics and to prevent interruption of the economy, human life, and civil and human rights. A UN Security Council protocol should lay this out clearly as a guide and should also include a provision to preclude this from being abused for political ends.
To safeguard the national security of countries around the world, it would be wise to establish national security minimum standards that would put them into a position to have sufficient manufacturing, distribution and personnel resources available and ready to meet such challenges. For large countries, like the US, China, and Russia, for example, they would be well advised to implement this even for their states and provinces, so they are self-sufficient in that regard.
Epidemics are possible whether by human transmission or by terrorist acts. They only become pandemics if they are not aggressively attended to the right at the outset and the structure needs to exist for that to occur.
For all its damage, COVID19 has been a wake-up call. This pandemic is not over, but it is not too early to bring the right change to this area of life on this planet.
It would be a change that could prevent a recurrence of another health pandemic and that would be a good thing.
—John Truman Wolfe, April 2020