by Chris Faure for the Saker Blog
On Monday and Tuesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) held their 73rd Word Health Assembly (WHA) virtually and online, with the objective to discuss the Covid-19 virus. The WHO is represented by most countries in the world.
Although none of us are particularly fond of these huge UN based organizations, we as a world need co-ordination, especially for those issues that cross borders. I have yet to see a virus that cares for a border, so clearly, Covid-19 is a world wide phenomenon and issue. Mr Putin said some years ago that the whole of the UN needs restructuring, nevertheless, we still have the WHO and the WHA and the WTO and these bloated organizations are replete with bureaucracy and most probably operate as proverbial dens of thieves as well. Nevertheless, this is what we have.
This proceedings were off to a blistering political start. The US tried to break things as is usual if they could not get their way. There were two main streams to the ‘breaking things at all costs’ initiative. Pompeo focused on Taiwan and worked his fingers to the bone to besiege the WHO to allow Taiwan a status at the Assembly, and in this way put pressure on China’s one country, two systems policies. Australia was particularly voluble in pushing this objective and there was even an early letter from Switzerland, agitating for Taiwan. Secondly, Mr Trump, with all his sails fully raised, agitated against the WHO and accused them of favoring China. He so dearly wanted the WHO to say China did something wrong so that he could claw a victory from the defeat that Covid-19 handed him, and was fierce in his condemnation of the WHO.
And so, further politicizing took place, while Covid-19 clearly did not care and continued to cross borders at will.
Unfortunately for both the US and Australia, China did not care either about this politicization of a world wide health issue and said so.
Unfortunately for both Pompeo and Trump, most of the countries in the world did not care either, and the Assembly voted and made a note and deferred discussion of the issue to the next Assembly, or the next Assembly that can be held with delegates physically present.
The background to this meeting is that most everyone in the western sphere, specifically the alt media which is noticeable, followed the political line that the WHO most certainly did things wrong while the US and western countries tried their best to hide their own handling of Covid-19 behind accusations that it was actually the WHO who dropped the virus ball. The US has been using the WHO as part scapegoat to attempt to shift the blame and hide their own handling of the virus – it is of course always the other guy’s fault – and Mr Trump threatened to withhold US payments, take his toys and leave the WHO.
Unfortunately for the western countries, the Assembly as a whole did not care, and made it clear that they will not bow down to imperial diktat and yes investigations will take place, but at a later more opportune time.
This was not enough for Mr.Trump and on the first day, he sent a blistering letter to Director-General Tedros, (Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus), full of political threats and posturing, demanding a commitment to “major substantive improvements within the next 30 days” and of course, the WHO must use their WHA and immediately denounce China.
The following sequence of events can only be written off as funny in one sense. Unfortunately it also reveals a level of scary incompetence.
Unfortunately Trump quoted a report from the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet to base his threats that the Who is in Cahoots with China on, and his further threat to defund the WHO and withdraw from the organization if they do not immediately bow to his imperial diktat.
Unfortunately, the editor of the Lancet announced soon after that this report does not exist and was never published.
Dear President Trump – You cite The Lancet in your attack on WHO. Please let me correct the record. The Lancet did not publish any report in early December, 2019, about a virus spreading in Wuhan. The first reports we published were from Chinese scientists on Jan 24, 2020.
So, at this early stage of the proceedings there was egg on the face of Mr Trump, Australia’s begging on behalf of Taiwan was ignored and still Covid-19 really did not care.
It was interesting to listen to the delegate from The Ukraine, who thought unfortunately that this was the correct forum to blame Russia for the virus. The delegate said that Russia is not allowing the Ukraine to do some very needed and loving medical intervention in the breakaway Donbas Republics and all of that ‘goodwill and peace’ is being hampered by Russia. Unfortunately this delegate had the audio plug pulled on him because he overstayed his welcome by trying to use excess time for blowing passionate hatred for Russia.
And so, the proceedings eventually came to an end, with a draft joint resolution on identifying the zoonotic source of the coronavirus and evaluating the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Covid-19 response, which is common practice.
The Chinese immediately expressed this in terms of losers. The Three Losers (am I wrong in thinking that they meant to say The Three Stooges) are:
“In a complete and sharp contrast to China, which offered a series of proposals at the WHA meeting, including providing $2 billion over two years to help this battle, making China’s COVID-19 vaccines global public goods when available and working with G20 members, the US has become the biggest loser for being isolated and marginalized, reflecting its failure in global governance, some Chinese analysts said, noting that such incompetence was amplified after it failed to besiege China at the WHO.” The other two losers China called out to be Taiwan and Australia.
Despite all of these political actions which served only to draw current world battle lines more clearly, there was a good aspect that came through most of the presentations from the various delegates. Overwhelmingly they stated that their own response will be in this sequence: Solutions appropriate to the context of the country itself and focused on prevention, treatment protocols, therapeutics and vaccines, in some cases clearly with a hint of sarcasm stated – if there ever is one.
Is this a clear flicker of the movement away from Empire to independent and strong countries. It sure looks like it.
Update : The Lancet made a broader statement in the last few hours. This is their final paragraph :
Cartoons from the excellent cartoonists at ChinaDaily