April 16, 2020

CLAUDIA ROSETT: Now Is Exactly the Time to Investigate the WHO’s Catastrophic Public Failures and Internal Rot.

Such twisted standards at the WHO should come as no surprise. China began colonizing the WHO at least 13 years ago, when China’s candidate, a former Hong Kong director of health, Margaret Chan, became WHO director-general, serving for 10 years before Tedros took charge. Chan was already controversial in Hong Kong for her slow and bungling early response to the 2003 SARS outbreak that spread from China to Hong Kong. Under her leadership, the WHO’s response in 2014 to the Ebola crisis in West Africa was a debacle — leaving the U.S. and a number of private medical charities to ride to the rescue. Commenting on this at the time, a Nov. 4, 2014, Wall Street Journal editorial noted that “since the 1990s the WHO has devoted ever more of it resources to political activism instead of its core disease-fighting mission — a loss of function that helps explain why the WHO failed to contain Ebola when it was less rampant.” Sound familiar?

If we judge by results, then as UN debacles go, the WHO’s 2020 failures, fictions, delays and Beijing boot-polishing in dealing China’s coronavirus outbreak rank right up there with the UN’s decision in 1994 to ignore desperate warnings from its own peacekeepers of the impending genocide in Rwanda. In that instance, more than 800,000 people were slaughtered. For the current pandemic, the cost in lives and livelihoods is already colossal, and we do not yet have a full tally. It would be gravely irresponsible of the U.S. to simply carry on bankrolling the WHO. An investigation into its public failures and internal rot is urgently needed — now — before the UN’s erstwhile health agency steers the world any deeper into catastrophe.


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