After Failing on the Pandemic, the WHO Seeks More Power

For most people, having just failed spectacularly at one’s job is not the best moment to ask for a pay raise and more responsibility. Not so for Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general of the World Health Organization.

In a letter co-signed by prominent global leaders, including the U.K.’s Boris Johnson, France’s Emmanuel Macron, and Germany’s Angela Merkel, Dr. Tedros is urging the world’s governments to draw “a new international treaty for pandemic preparedness and response,” which would be “rooted in the constitution of the World Health Organization” and would “foster an all-of-government and all-of-society approach, strengthening national, regional and global capacities and resilience to future pandemics.”

But the world already has a platform that is supposed to do exactly that: the WHO. The fact that the organization, under Tedros’ leadership, did not succeed in stopping the pandemic has little to do with its supposed lack of capacity or resources.

The failure has everything to do with the WHO’s politics, which led the organization to take information provided by the Chinese regime at face value, while ignoring the early warnings from Taiwan. Two weeks after Taiwanese authorities alerted the WHO of the possibility of human-to-human transmission on December 31, 2019, the WHO kept repeating the Chinese lie that there was no such indication. As late as February 24, 2020, the WHO claimed that the world was “not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death.” At the time, there were documented cases in Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea, and the United States, among others.

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