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WHO chief should be brought to book

WHO chief should be brought to book

World Health Organization WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus’ incompetence and corruption are matched only by his insolence. He is the man who transformed the WHO into—in the words of Japan’s Deputy Prime Minister Taro Aso—CHO or ‘Chinese Health Organization,’ who let a local outbreak become a global pandemic, whose slavish attitude towards his Chinese masters caused tens of thousands of deaths. And he has the cheek to bemoan the “politicization” of the crisis!

Ghebreyesus has vehemently responded to US President Donald Trump’s criticism of the agency and rethink over American funding for the agency. The US contributed $400 million to the WHO in 2019 exceeded $400 million; the second-largest country donor contributed half of that amount.

The WHO chief claimed that the agency had “kept the world informed about the latest data, information, and evidence.” He also said that April 9 marked 100 days from December 31 when China first notified the WHO of cases of “pneumonia with unknown cause.”

Ghebreyesus is a liar and an illusionist. A liar because he, instead of keeping “the world informed about the latest data, information, and evidence,” did just the opposite: he didn’t inform other countries about the threat the novel coronavirus posed to them; he didn’t do that because his bosses in Beijing didn’t want their name to be smeared in the world.

Worse, he lulled everybody into believing that the coronavirus was not as dangerous as it was made out to be. On January 14, for instance, the World Health Organization (WHO) tweeted, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China.”

Worse still, he slammed Trump for banning flights to and from China. Which was not surprising because the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, the People’s Daily, had termed the ban “racist.” In a similar vein, Ghebreyesus said the ban would increase “fear and stigma, with little public health benefit.”

Ghebreyesus is also an illusionist; he wants people to see things which he wants them to see, and not as they are. This is what he had been doing for months: to make the world anything but the reality—that is, China’s culpability.

He says that politicization of the COVID-19 is the problem; but what he doesn’t say is a simple truth: that he himself is the product and function of the politicization. It was because of China’s backing that he became the WHO chief, the first person to head the health agency without a medical degree.

It has been widely reported, and there is nothing on record to suggest that the reports are off the mark, that Ghebreyesus exhibited incredible credulity, almost gullibility, when it came to accepting the Chinese version of events. Even as the global media was talking about Beijing’s late reaction to the deadly virus, he was singing hosannas to China’s glory.

“China’s speed, China’s scale and China’s efficiency… is the advantage of China’s system,” he said in January. Such was the efficiency that over one and half million have been infected across the world and tens of thousands have perished.

In an interview with the Financial Times in February, he said, “Nobody knows for sure if they were hiding [anything].” If they had, the virus would have spread earlier to neighboring countries. “The logic doesn’t support the idea [of a cover-up]. It’s wrong to jump to conclusions.”

China, he went on to assert, deserved “tailored and qualified” praise. “They identified the pathogen and shared the sequence immediately,” he said.

He also lavished fulsome praise on Chinese President Xi Jinping: “I was stunned by the knowledge he had. He was personally living it. That’s good leadership.” What is really stunning is the fact that he didn’t recommend Xi for the Nobel Peace Prize!

Ghebreyesus still has the holier-than-thou attitude. Just notice his recent sermons to global leaders: “Please quarantine politicizing COVID. If we want to win, we shouldn't waste time pointing fingers.” “Unity is the only option to defeat this virus.” The WHO chief has tons of gumption and gall.

His acts of omission and commission cannot be dismissed as human errors; to err is human; but to act as per the diktats of the world’s most dangerous totalitarian state is a sin and a crime. The crime has resulted in mass deaths; more would follow. It is time to bring Ghebreyesus to book. For the same of the WHO, most people of which are working for humanity. And for mankind..