World is gasping due to shortage of ventilators, businesses rapidly trying to develop prototype, noted personalities pledging and donating. Brazil reluctant to close business as usual saying we cannot stop people from dying, but business has to continue, Italy having worlds 2nd best health infrastructure lost to this virus. Spain, France and the entire Europe over-burdened, cases in the US already surpassed that of China and Italy, and experts fearing a much wider and harrowing situations if this outbreak engulfs Africa. Almost more than half of global human population under lockdown and now entire humanity confounded as China goes back to its normal business.
In these situations, we are bound to contemplate as what are our global response bodies that is World health organisation (WHO) which is definitely one of the reputable UN institution in the world is doing over it. The world has started to ask question as well. The person specifically in question is the director general of WHO – Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who is an Ethiopian health minister.
It has put the reputation of WHO on the line. There is a lot of criticism over how it has handled this pandemic and also in India over how it is handling the crisis. It does seem that it took too long reacting and it gave China a long pass. It does seem that it was in denial for a long time not accepting that it was a growing pandemic. In-fact it took too long even accepting that human to human transmission of this virus was possible. It was giving certificates of good conduct and in-fact speaking of China in glowing terms. Even until the end of January it was criticising countries such as the US for imposing travel bans on China. And now too add dollops of insult to injury, the director general of WHO is now lecturing the whole world and even admonishing them that quarantines will not work, you have to attack the virus, countries are not doing their homework, and test, test and test!!!
What are you doing during these trying times Doctor???
In-fact at the G20 virtual summit, Indian prime minister suggested in diplomatic way that WHO needs recasting. Other countries have not been so subtle, the US has directly blamed WHO of siding with China. It seems like WHO has not been able to come out of the never-ending conflict of maintaining a balance between the Geo-politics of the world. Earlier it was cold war of USSR and the US, then a unipolar world of USA, now a Bi-polar world of US and China. Many senators although only Republican have said that under Dr. Tedros, WHO has become mouthpiece of China, that it has let down the world and it is too weak kneed in dealing with China.
We know that WHO DG is selected basis the vote of health ministers of member countries. China controls many votes in WHO due to its political relations with many countries who are almost dependent on China for its economic, military and political reasons. Dr Tedros has also been accused of hiding the two Cholera outbreak in his country of Ethiopia itself.
We need to note that WHO was very critical of China under the leadership of 3-time former Prime Minister of Norway Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland when the SARS outbreak happened in 2002-03. It called out China for not acting fast enough, for wild animals in wet markets of China who were reservoirs of these Coronaviruses. In-fact it is due to that criticism China has to fire its health minister and Beijing mayor.
AWhy has not WHO, not for a single time mentioned the root cause of these viruses again emanating from these wet markets, which has been called my many institutions, research and even by Chinese citizens to be banned. This is despite the fact that Wet markets were banned during SARS outbreak and the world allowed it to be started again.
Continue reading this analysis further over my next blog as we all seek answers from those who are responsible…