Quote of the Week: WHO (again)

Be careful WHO you trust.

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Douglas Farrago MD

Douglas Farrago MD is a full-time practicing family doc in Forest, Va. He started Forest Direct Primary Care where he takes no insurance and bills patients a monthly fee. He is board certified in the specialty of Family Practice. He is the inventor of a product called the Knee Saver which is currently in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The Knee Saver and its knock-offs are worn by many major league baseball catchers. He is also the inventor of the CryoHelmet used by athletes for head injuries as well as migraine sufferers. Dr. Farrago is the author of four books, two of which are the top two most popular DPC books. From 2001 – 2011, Dr. Farrago was the editor and creator of the Placebo Journal which ran for 10 full years. Described as the Mad Magazine for doctors, he and the Placebo Journal were featured in the Washington Post, US News and World Report, the AP, and the NY Times. Dr. Farrago is also the editor of the blog Authentic Medicine which was born out of concern about where the direction of healthcare is heading and the belief that the wrong people are in charge. This blog has been going daily for more than 15 years Article about Dr. Farrago in Doximity Email Dr. Farrago – [email protected] 

  6 comments for “Quote of the Week: WHO (again)

  1. arf
    April 6, 2020 at 4:01 pm

    From the Wall Street Journal
    World Health Coronavirus Disinformation
    WHO’s bows to Beijing have harmed the global response to the pandemic.
    By The Editorial Board

    The coronavirus pandemic will offer many lessons in what to do better to save more lives and do less economic harm the next time. But there’s already one way to ensure future pandemics are less deadly: Reform or defund the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Last week Florida Senator Rick Scott called for a Congressional investigation into the United Nations agency’s “role in helping Communist China cover up information regarding the threat of the Coronavirus.” The rot at WHO goes beyond canoodling with Beijing, but that’s a good place to start.

    The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, sometime in the autumn, perhaps as early as November. It accelerated in December. Caixin Global reported that Chinese labs had sequenced the coronavirus genome by the end of December but were ordered by Chinese officials to destroy samples and not publish their findings. On Dec. 30 Dr. Li Wenliang warned Chinese doctors about the virus, and several days later local authorities accused him of lies that “severely disturbed the social order.”

    Taiwanese officials warned WHO on Dec. 31 that they had seen evidence that the virus could be transmitted human-to-human. But the agency, bowing to Beijing, doesn’t have a normal relationship with Taiwan. On Jan. 14 WHO tweeted, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” The agency took another week to reverse that misinformation.

    On Jan. 22-23 a WHO emergency committee debated whether to declare Covid-19 a “public health emergency of international concern.” The virus already had spread to several countries, and making such a declaration would have better prepared the world. It should have been an easy decision, despite Beijing’s objections. Yet director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus declined and instead traveled to China.

    He finally made the declaration on Jan. 30—losing a week of precious time—and his rhetoric suggests the trip to Beijing was more about politics than public health. “The Chinese government is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken,” he said. “I left in absolutely no doubt about China’s commitment to transparency.”

    A University of Southampton study suggests the number of coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 95% had China moved to contain the virus three weeks sooner. Yet Dr. Tedros gushed that Beijing had set “a new standard for outbreak response.” He also praised the speed with which China “sequenced the genome and shared it with WHO and the world.” China didn’t do so until Jan. 12.

    On Jan. 30 Dr. Tedros also said that “WHO doesn’t recommend limiting trade and movement.” President Trump ignored the advice and announced travel restrictions on China the following day, slowing the spread of the virus. U.S. progressive elites echoed WHO and criticized Mr. Trump. WHO didn’t declare the coronavirus a pandemic until March 11.

    Not that any of this has prompted much soul-searching. Alluding to China, WHO official Michael Ryan said last week, “We need to be very careful also to not to be profiling certain parts of the world as being uncooperative.” Beijing touted the remarks, as it has other WHO statements.

    This record is tragic but not surprising. Much of the blame for WHO’s failures lies with Dr. Tedros, who is a politician, not a medical doctor. As a member of the left-wing Tigray People’s Liberation Front, he rose through Ethiopia’s autocratic government as health and foreign minister. After taking the director-general job in 2017, he tried to install Zimbabwe dictator Robert Mugabe as a WHO goodwill ambassador.

    China inevitably gains more international clout as its economy grows. But why does WHO seem so much more afraid of Beijing’s ire than Washington’s? Only 12% of WHO’s assessed member-state contributions come from China. The U.S. contributes 22%. Americans at WHO generally are loyal to the institution, while Chinese appointees put Chinese interests first or they will suffer Beijing’s wrath.

    China’s influence over WHO has been organized and consistent, whereas the U.S. response has been haphazard. Washington needs a quarterback to lead the fight against Chinese dominance at WHO and other international organizations. Yet the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs lacks a political appointee.

    The U.S. will have allies in an effort to reform WHO. A frustrated Japanese deputy prime minister called WHO the “Chinese Health Organization.” British Prime Minister Boris Johnson reportedly is rethinking U.K.-China ties over China’s lack of candor about the virus.

    Congress should investigate how WHO performed against the coronavirus and whether its judgments were corrupted by China’s political influence. Of all international institutions, WHO should be the least political. Its core mission is to coordinate international efforts against epidemics and provide honest public-health guidance.

    If WHO is merely a politicized Maginot Line against pandemics, then it is worse than useless and should receive no more U.S. funding. And if foreign-policy elites want to know why so many Americans mistrust international institutions, WHO is it.

  2. arf
    April 2, 2020 at 5:52 pm

    Taro Aso, the Deputy Prime Minister of Japan, thinks the World Health Organization should be renamed “Chinese Health Organization”. He blames Beijing for covering up the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Also unhappy with the exclusion of Taiwan.


  3. Sir Lance-a-lot
    April 2, 2020 at 10:12 am

    “Be careful WHO you trust.”

    That being said, for the past 75 years or so it’s been accepted that a good rule of thumb is not to trust the ChiComs.

    Why do we think they refused to let the CDC in for such a long time…?

    • Pat
      April 2, 2020 at 11:17 am

      Collectivism is bad wherever it is practiced, and sadly, at least as contagious as Covid-19. We now see lockdowns, everyone running around in masks, bordering on an economic depression, and a frightening increase in government reach at all levels. We are in many ways becoming China.

      As has been said here and elsewhere, almost anything can be justified under the rationale of “public health.”

    • April 10, 2020 at 5:29 pm

      Recently I read an older book by Dean Koontz, “The Eyes of Darkness”. The main plot devise of this thriller was a bioweapon, a virus called “Wuhan-400” because it was made in the Wuhan biological warfare laboratory which was a known quantity at the time the book was written — 1981. Should we be surprised that the starting point for the 2019 Wuhan virus was next door to a biowar lab?

      Oops, sorry! The PC crowd just told me that my inferences are racist. Oh, dear, let us rename it the COVID-19 virus.

  4. Jesse L.Belville,PA-C
    April 2, 2020 at 9:42 am

    China is in trouble and there is much unrest in the country. Why, cause that is the way it has always been in China. They are many ethnic peoples under one government,Communist and they are in trouble, financial, food, Energy. They MUST import it All. They have NO bluewater Navy.They are much smoke and mirrors. Their sydtem is breaking. They will turn inward.. They Lie to Save Face. Also if you Fail,you get removed from power. Killed. Replaced. So you lie,kill and Save FACE.Very dangerous to be in China.. Does not have to be that way. There is a Choice But it involves much danger and Changes. Will they have the Courage to choose wisely? Time will show their choices.

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