It’s been a year since the WHO notified the world about a ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’ discovered in China. Given that its primary purpose was to combat contagious diseases, it has fared poorly.

In mid-December, news agencies reported that the World Health Organisation (WHO) would lead an international mission to China in the first week of January to investigate the origins of the virus that sparked the Covid-19 pandemic.

The first week of January 2020 was when it first notified the world about a ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’ originating in Wuhan, China. Health ministers from member states asked the WHO to investigate the origin of the virus in May. So, this investigation is extraordinarily late.

Almost immediately, the United States – which has accused China of obfuscating the origin of the virus and the extent of its own outbreak – denounced the terms of the WHO mission, which is to conduct further studies to build on China’s own findings. This apparent deference to China does little to allay suspicions, expressed openly by the US, that the WHO has been dancing to the tune of the Chinese Communist Party.

With some of the team already en route, the news broke that China had denied entry to the WHO team. Clearly, the ‘transparent and inclusive’ investigation upon which the US had insistent, was a bridge too far for the Chinese.

This latest setback compounds the WHO’s bungling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The missteps began very early on in the pandemic.

China reported the outbreak to the WHO on 31 December 2019. On the day WHO announced a ‘pneumonia of unknown cause’ to the world on 5 January, Chinese scientists investigating the coronavirus completed its genetic sequencing. Yet it would take another week before the WHO was let in on the secret.

On 14 January, nine days after the WHO first reported the discovery of the new pneumonia, and two days after it published the genetic sequence of the coronavirus that caused it, Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, told Reuters: ‘[It] is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission.’

A week later, the WHO reconsidered this view, admitting that there is ‘at least some human-to-human transmission’, but could not decide whether the outbreak ought to be categorised as a public health emergency of international concern. It would take yet another week before it made that decision, on 30 January 2020.

When it learnt of China’s draconian lockdown in Wuhan and Hubei province in January, the WHO’s representative in Beijing said: ‘The lockdown of 11 million people is unprecedented in public health history, so it is certainly not a recommendation the WHO has made.’

Yet the WHO did nothing to discourage similar lockdowns in the rest of the world. It never expressly advocated them, instead emphasising its ‘test, track and trace’ strategy, but it wasn’t until October – after the global economy had been brought to a grinding halt by most governments – that the WHO unequivocally turned against lockdowns, calling them a ‘ghastly global catastrophe’.

On 3 February, when other countries started to cancel flights to and from China, the WHO’s director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said there was no need to ‘unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade’.

This statement was widely interpreted as an attempt by Tedros to protect China’s economy. When the WHO finally issued a statement on international travel on 29 February, it reiterated that travel and trade restrictions were largely ineffective, and would likely have many negative consequences, including to pandemic response efforts. It conceded that for countries with few international connections and limited response capabilities, a short restriction on international traffic may be justifiable, but only at the beginning of an outbreak.

Nobody listened. Everyone shut down international air travel. In South Africa, the shutdown lasted for many months.

In early March, scientists the world over were describing the Covid-19 outbreak as a pandemic, but the WHO resisted doing so. Tedros said: ‘Unless we’re convinced it’s uncontrollable, why [would] we call it a pandemic?’

Three days later, with the disease having spread to 118 countries, the WHO finally relented, calling it a ‘controllable pandemic’.

The WHO initially recommended against mask-wearing for the general public. It only reversed that stance on 5 June 2020, and even then said that mask-wearing was ‘not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence’. This dithering substantially undermined the credibility of mask mandates around the world.

Obsessed as it had become with lifestyle-related, non-communicable diseases, the WHO could not resist making statements linking smoking to Covid-19 risk. By referring only to studies about the severity of disease in cases where smokers did contract Covid-19, the WHO ignored numerous studies that found smokers are less likely to contract the disease in the first place, which on balance made smoking somewhat protective against Covid-19.

The WHO’s advice, therefore, was unhelpful, and in South Africa, it had the effect of supporting a baseless prohibition on tobacco products which compounded the economic strain on the country and led to thousands of unnecessary job losses.

In March, the WHO launched the Solidarity Trial, under which it would investigate the effectiveness of four proposed treatments for Covid-19, these being remdesivir, hydroxychloroquine, lopinavir/ritonavir, and interferon. In October, it proudly announced: ‘Solidarity Therapeutics Trial produces conclusive evidence on the effectiveness of repurposed drugs for COVID-19 in record time.’

You’d have had to read further to discover that none of the four treatments were found to be effective. The only drug that has proved to be effective against severe and critical Covid-19, corticosteroids, was not part of the WHO’s big trial.

It launched the COVAX Global Vaccines Facility in August, with the aim to procure two billion vaccines for poor countries in 2021. While much of the rest of the world has already begun large-scale immunisation campaigns, and even India has managed to secure 2.2 billion vaccine doses for its population, the COVAX facility has only managed to secure 700 million doses to date, and countries that subscribed to the facility will have to watch healthcare workers die for several more months before they receive even the first doses from COVAX.

The WHO has demonstrated that it frequently dithers even when the stakes are high. It has no actual power and is unwilling to publicly criticise or gainsay member countries. Its member countries do not take its recommendations seriously. It proved unable to recommend effective treatments against Covid-19, and it is falling short on offering equitable access to vaccines.

The WHO’s original mandate included a epidemiological notification service, classification of diseases, improving maternal and child health, nutrition, environmental sanitation, and fighting communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases.

Throughout this pandemic, it has proved to be ineffective, often clueless, and entirely toothless in the execution of one of its core mandates.

In future columns, I’ll review the WHO’s broader historic performance, consider the reasons for its successes and failures, and examine some ways in which it might be reformed.

The views of the writer are not necessarily the views of the Daily Friend or the IRR

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51 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks Ivo, an excellent analysis of the WHO and this ‘pandemic’. I’m really keen to see the data on their failures because for sure I don’t believe they’ve had any successes.

    In reality, what the WHO say and what the WHO does appear to be two different things. The biggest funder to the WHO now is Bill Gates et al (he was the second before the USA pulled their funding, although perhaps with Biden at the helm that will change).

    Please don’t leave out the Bill Gates connection to your investigations? Why are so many people beholden to this computer nerd instead of listening to REAL doctors? It’s just about money and influence.

  2. Copied and pasted :

    ‘The WHO is a bureaucratic political lobby group funded primarily by the Chinese government and the Gates Foundation, headed by Tedros Ghebreyesus, a friend of the Chinese government and communist who actively tried to cover up the Wuhan outbreak.

    He was a member of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), an Ethiopian terrorist group and political party which played a significant role in the Ethiopian famine during the 1980s.

    Oh, and he isn’t even a medical doctor.’
    JERM

    • Spot on. While there are many knowledgeable, well meaning experts within the WHO, Tedros is the CCP’s Trojan horse that has been sent in to fundamentally change the role of the WHO. Rather than promoting universal health, it now works to undermine the stability of countries not under CCP control. Let us not be fooled by the apparent incompetence and mixed messages. One cannot comment on the WHO without looking at Tedros’ background, ideology and his rise to power.

    • Teros is a puppet of the Chinese – HOW could he side with China & their tiny & R50M per year, easy he sold Ethiopia to China…….

  3. “The WHO initially recommended against mask-wearing for the general public. It only reversed that stance on 5 June 2020, and even then said that mask-wearing was ‘not yet supported by high quality or direct scientific evidence’. This dithering substantially undermined the credibility of mask mandates around the world.”

    Strangely enough, the WHO is 100% correct about the lack of supportive scientific evidence to support mask-wearing for the general public. There still is no evidence to support either its effectiveness or its safety. Nobody has done ANY safety studies on the general public using cloth masks day in and day out. The general public is not trained how to use PPE and are not operating in a sterile environment. This is one of the reasons why people are getting sick now – bacterial pneumonia and contamination from extensive face coverings. We are not designed to breathe through soggy, bacteria and germ riddled cloth. Cloth which has never been studied for its safety – what about the loose fibres in the cloth? And the chemicals in the cloth? No safety data.

    • Furthermore, are all masks created equal? That, for some reason, is never specified by the mask aficionados- just so long as you cover your face with something to display your compliance.
      Nevertheless, let us assume masks of any sort are 100% effective in stopping spread, whether by protecting yourself from the virus to stopping the spread to people around you (also two very different concepts, but anyway, humor me for a moment…), we should not be wearing them. Perhaps ESPECIALLY if they are ‘100% effective’. Why? Well, herd immunity. If you have something impeding the development of natural herd immunity for a virus with a IFR of <0.05% then yes, masks are contraindicated to establish herd immunity… especially when you are waiting for costly and potentially dangerous vaccine roll outs which will only reach your country by the end of the year.

  4. Thanks Ivo for a reasonable and rational review of the WHO absolute cock up in handling this pandemic.
    They tried to be the authority and instead showed basic mistakes and lack of knowledge and understanding of the issues.

  5. Thanks for letting us know what is going on with the WHO . Please stop them and also stop the Countries around the world from locking us up.

  6. Why is invermectin being banned when it is showing promising results in combatting the covid influenza?

    People at SAHPRA need to be held to account and arrested if needs be for infringing on my right to access cost effective medication and potentially causing the unnecessary deaths of many people, my beloved uncle included.

    Where are the lawyers????

    • MAC said there is no need for it, as vast majority recover without any medication. Question is then, why are billions wasted and stolen to get vaccines?

    • No money to be looted from the distribution of Ivermectin. It is a relatively cheap drug dispensed in many countries for human use.

      The Indian government is apparently distributing a Covid-19 home care pack called Ziverdo which consists of Ivermectin 12mg, Zinc Acetate 50mg and Doxycycline 100mg. Cost is apparently about $2.65.
      Perhaps this is one of the reasons that the Indian mortality rate per million is so low (about 5 time lower than ours in SA).

      I cannot help but think back on the track record of our ‘glorious’ NCCC leader, who when Minister of Health advocated a toxic industrial solvent (Virodene) produced by an ‘apparent’ friend of hers as an HIV/AIDS treatment and disbanded the Medical Control Council when she did not her own way with respect to Virodene. The same person that blocked the trials of AZT in the treatment of Aids. Forgive me, but at the back of my mind, these facts make me wonder if there are not ulterior motives by the governments their stance on Ivermectin

      • I tend to agree that the evidence on Ivermectin is not strong enough yet. It looks promising, and I’d support large-scale clinical trials, but without those we simply don’t know enough about its effectiveness, dosing, and side-effects in treating Covid-19.

        • But you would accept a ‘vaccine’ (it’s not a vaccine, it is a treatment) that has not undergone proper testing and safety trials? Ivermectin has been on the market for decades and has an excellent safety record. Many doctors worldwide are using this drug with hugely successful results. Why should we hold back in such an emergency when so many people are dying on ventilators?

          • Vaccines have undergone proper testing and trials.

            And while ivermectin has been used to treat certain parasitic infections, it has *not* been comprehesively tested for the treatment of Covid.

            Why would you not take a vaccine that has been fully tested against Covid-19 for nearly a year in large-scale clinical trials, but advocate ivermectin that has undergone hardly any proper trials for the treatment of Covid-19? I’ll bet six months ago you’d have sworn high and low by hydroxychloroquine.

            Not every promising drug proves to be both effective and safe. In fact, most don’t.

  7. I actually agree with the WHO’s actions and assessments of covid-19 (I’m not communist nor Chinese). Anything with a 98% survival rate is NOT a pandemic, merely a new and slightly more dangerous version of the common flu. The world’s utter over-reaction is comical, tragic and proof that we are a bunch of mindless sheep. We should all have been left to get covid-19 and it would have been over long ago, without destroying economies and livelihoods. Covid-19 is not dangerous, people’s irrational fears are. The WHO was the only rational voice of reason out there in my opinion.

    • Our MAC, in defense of decision not to use ivermectin said similar thing, “The vast majority of patients with Covid 19 will recover without specific pharmacological treatment.” their words.
      Survival rate is actually much higher, as majority of those infected have no symptoms and have no need to be tested, survival rate is estimated somewhere in range 99,99% to 99,96%

      So, it is unclear what is behind all this drama, wide spread incompetence or maybe some ulterior motives.

  8. Don’t reform. Get rid of the WHO entirely. Whatever they may have achieved has been achieved at greater cost to the tax payers of the contributing countries than was ever necessary. They’re just another bloated beauracracy.

    Individual countries can collaborate more effectively and more cost effectively if need be based on the direct will of their citizens. Supra National bodies of any sort undermine national sovereignty and therefore true democracy.

  9. I have to agree, they did seem to let multiple balls drop on this one. I don’t like Trump but maybe he was right 🙂

  10. Tedros Adhanom, an Eritrean, has close links to Bill Clinton and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has also been associated with GAVI Vaccine Alliance accused of business oriented and technology focused mindset based on the Gates approach. GAVI’s funding come mostly from the Gates Foundation. Does everyone see the red flags?
    Genetically modified vaccines are a flagship of these organizations. Vaccines generally have a very negative effect on the immune system. One such vaccine is the use of the Adenovirus vaccine vector. The use of Ad5 vaccines for COVID-19 worried researchers who had experience with failed trials of an Ad5 vaccine, due to the increased risk for male patients of contracting HIV.
    The Lancet – “On the basis of these findings, we are concerned that use of an Ad5 vector for immunisation against SARS-CoV-2 could similarly increase the risk of HIV-1 acquisition among men who receive the vaccine.”
    This is all a lot more than a Covid virus. It’s about financial gain and complete human control. In fact, at this stage THERE IS NO PANDEMIC. Covid-19 (Sars-cov-2) is non lethal. out of 12 viruses I have listed Covid-19 is the least harmful of them all.
    However, these laboratory produced GM viruses have been purposely released into regions and populations of people for testing purposes and for other malicious reasons.
    Based on the 2010 Rockefeller Lockstep documents there will be three viral release phases of the global elite New World Order program to depopulate the earth. The first is the release of SARS-COV-2. The second and third phases will be more toxic viruses that will cause much more deaths. Very few people are ready for this and the normal face masks cannot stop any form of virus.

    • You can also look up the SPARS 2025 TO 2028 A Futuristic Scenario by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. This is in addition to the Event 201 held in October/Nov 2019. They tell you what is going to happen. No conspiracy Ivo – you really need to jump off that bandwagon! It is hold you back from understanding what is happening in the real world.
      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/339878378_The_SPARS_Pandemic_2025-2028_A_Futuristic_Scenario_to_Facilitate_Medical_Countermeasure_Communication

      • What is sinister about trying to make preparations for pandemics that we have long known would be inevitable?

        My problem is they didn’t do anywhere near enough planning and preparation. Everyone, from the WHO on down, was caught flatfooted, and imposed lockdowns because they panicked and had no idea what else to do.

        • That is total BS Ivo! Report on EVENT 201 or Log in on the World Economic Forum Website – It is a well planned and executed SCAM!
          Call me a conspiracy nut and I’ll call you a sleeping sheep or a paid stooge.

          • If it was a scam, then why would they publish the details of Event 201 all over the internet? You don’t keep a secret plot secret by putting it online:
            https://www.centerforhealthsecurity.org/event201/scenario.html

            Scientists have known for years that it’s just a matter of time before another coronavirus pandemic hits — it says so in the academic literature after SARS 2003.

            Eg. from 2007: “The presence of a large reservoir of SARS-CoV-like viruses in horseshoe bats, together with the culture of eating exotic mammals in southern China, is a time bomb. The possibility of the reemergence of SARS and other novel viruses from animals or laboratories and therefore the need for preparedness should not be ignored.”
            https://cmr.asm.org/content/20/4/660

            Running simulations to assess preparedness and plan for contingencies is perfectly normal. It’s a pity that governments appear to have ignored those exercises, and had few or no plans in place for dealing with a fast-spreading pandemic, resulting in overwhelmed healthcare systems.

        • Event 201 was only held to see how the media would deal with truth. It’s blatantly clear how facebook, you tube and twitter to mane a few dealt with imformation from real doctors and scientists!

  11. Is is worth noting that Tedros is under investigation by ICC for violation of human rights? One charge is that he concealed evidence of 3 cholera outbreaks while Minister of Health. I am noting a pattern here in his behavior.

  12. Don’t forget that after Trump exit WHO and stopped paying its annual dues China later on said it was going to supportWHO with a two billion donation!

  13. There are two vaccines available: the traditional mDNA and the brand new type, mRNA.

    While mDNA vaccines are tried and tested over the years, the mRNA is very new and not adequately tested, according to my father-in-law’s French doctor, who recommended he stick to the mDNA version.

    So it’s not correct to say that ‘all vaccines are tested and OK’.
    Why are pharmaceutical companies protecting themselves from being sued, by refusing to take any responsibility for their products, in the small print?
    mRNA has less testing than ivermectin and especially HCQ which are cheap drugs that have been on the market for years.

    Prof Didier Raoult of France feels that early-use of ivermectin and HCQ nips Covid in the bud in its early stages and prevents people from the deteriorating lung function that requires complicated ventilation.

    Why have our rights to Ivermectin and HCQ been taken way by WHO and governments, accruing special powers to themselves under Disaster State of Emergency acts?

    I

    • There’s no such thing as an mDNA vaccine. There’s mitochondrial DNA, but it has nothing to do with vaccines.

      Messenger RNA technology has been in development for 25 years, primarily as a means to deliver cancer drugs. It was mature and ready to be used for a vaccine. It works by getting your body’s cells to create specific proteins encoded by the mRNA, against which the body can then produce an immune response. Since those proteins are the same ones on the spike of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the body will recognise the virus and fight it.

      The other vaccines are based on more traditional technology. The leading ones are adenovirus-vectored. That uses a harmless virus as a Trojan horse to deliver… wait for it… mRNA to get your cells to produce proteins that trigger an immune response.

      Both types of vaccines have been in trials since very early in 2020, so they’re both equally well-tested.

      Drug makers are routinely protected against lawsuits over side-effects, provided that they can show their drugs were properly tested, and the drig has been certified as both sufficiently effective and sufficiently safe for its purpose. If they weren’t indemnified, nobody would risk making drugs in the first place. All drugs have side-effects, and you can’t hold drugmakers liable for every time a side-effect occurs.

      As for your favourite French professor, he’s being charged with ethics violations over his very poor hydroxychloroquine study. I wouldn’t let him near my dog.
      https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/nov/12/covid-professor-didier-raoult-hydroxychloroquine

      • No need to chuck out the baby with the bath water Ivo. In an Argentinian experiment involving around 1,200 health professionals 788 used a weekly dose of Ivermectin and the rest not. Not one of the 788 got Covid while more than half of the non-users got Covid. Please watch the interview with Dr Nienaber on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVEn75mpveo . Why do we need a vaccine if a highly effective treatment with an over the counter product that has been on the market for many years with virtually no side effects is available? One question that certainly needs to be scrutinized is why the Pfizer CEO offloaded 62% of his shares on the day they announced their vaccine.

      • For which other drugs are the pharmaceutical companies indemnified? As far as I know, it is only vaccines. This began in 1986 in the USA because the vaccine manufacturers were getting sued left, right and centre and particularly over the DTP/DPT vaccine(s).

        The above is why people need to be properly informed as to the potential risks, including that of zero compensation for any serious adverse effects from the drug/treatment/vaccine they are taking.

        It is also why all drugs/treatments/vaccines MUST never be mandatory. Ever. No coercion, no withdrawing of natural human rights, no bullying, no “if you don’t take this vaccine you can’t travel” etc etc etc.

      • Ivo, please check this NIH (Dr Fauci is the Director of the NIH) study which showed that chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV. This study was done in 2005. They KNEW back then that chloroquine was effective.

        “2005 NIH CHLOROQUINE STUDY
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1232869/
        Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.
        Published online 2005 Aug 22. doi: 10.1186/1743-422X-2-69
        PMCID: PMC1232869
        PMID: 16115318

        Conclusion

        Chloroquine is effective in preventing the spread of SARS CoV in cell culture. Favorable inhibition of virus spread was observed when the cells were either treated with chloroquine prior to or after SARS CoV infection. In addition, the indirect immunofluorescence assay described herein represents a simple and rapid method for screening SARS-CoV antiviral compounds.”

        • An in vitro study is not conclusive. It can tell you whether it *might* work, but without animal and human trials, you cannot know it will work. And it certainly can’t tell you whether it will do more good than harm.

          • If that is so, then the current ‘vaccine’ should have been tested on animals? They skipped the first part of testing that is always done on vaccines.

  14. Replying on Jean Pierre Le Roux’s copied comment, above: “He was a member of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), an Ethiopian terrorist group and political party which played a significant role in the Ethiopian famine during the 1980s.”

    The description above, follows any president of the ANC, being from a “liberation group” and now “government”.

    It’s Africa’s story and blueprint. No surprise here.

    Ivo has dug deep into the truth.

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