A good time to reflect on WHO’s antics early in pandemic history.
After Biden gave his “winter of disease and death” speech, directed at those unvaccinated against COVID infection and many more unwilling to live under enduring pandemic restrictions, World Health Organization (WHO) officials criticized blanket Covid-19 vaccine booster programs, warning such programs could prolong the pandemic.
“Blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic, rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said during a news briefing.
The comments from the WHO come as health officials in the U.S. promote vaccine booster shots for all residents over the age of 16 amid a surge in Covid cases driven by the omicron strain. Israel on Tuesday announced it would offer a fourth dose of Covid-19 vaccines to people older than 60.
Unfortunately, the rationale behind the WHO statements seem to be more equity than science based.
The WHO chief has previously called for a moratorium on boosters for healthy adults until the end of this year to counter unequal global vaccine distribution. He said at an online news conference Wednesday that about 20% of vaccine doses being given every day are currently boosters or additional doses.
“Blanket booster programs are likely to prolong the pandemic rather than ending it, by diverting supply to countries that already have high levels of vaccination coverage, giving the virus more opportunity to spread and mutate,” Tedros added.
As a reminder, anything the “experts” at WHO say should be taken with a grain of salt. Here is trip down 2020’s Memory Lane, when President Donald Trump was cutting the agency’s funding.
Here are a few of the points Trump included in his four-page letter:
- Trump reminded WHO that it praised Communist China for its “transparency” in late January, even though the government failed to address the outbreak right away. WHO also ignored the fact that China “silenced or punished several doctors for speaking out about the virus and restricted Chinese institutions from publishing information about it.”
- Transparency showed up again when Trump noted that WHO ignored China destroying virus samples, which could have helped the world.
- WHO ignored reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in “December 2019 or even earlier.” It did not “independently investigate credible reports that conflicted directly with the Chinese government’s official accounts.” WHO even ignored reports from sources in Wuhan.
- By the end of December, the WHO office in Beijing knew about a “major public health” crisis in Wuhan. Trump pointed out that Dr. Zhang Jixian told health authorities about 180 people were suffering from “a new coronavirus.”
- When Taiwan sent information about “human-to-human transmission” of the virus WHO elected not to tell other countries. Trump said WHO “probably” did this “for political reasons,” which makes sense considering the tensions between Taiwan and China.
- Trump slammed WHO for remaining silent when China retaliated against Dr. Zhang Yongzhen, who posted his findings after he “sequenced the genome of the virus.” China closed his lab after he revealed his data. WHO did nothing, even though the doctor stressed he told the Chinese authorities.
- Then there’s the fact that WHO accepted Chinese propaganda that humans could not transfer the virus to one another and gave in to the pressure not to declare the outbreak a health emergency.
- WHO praised China when the government implemented travel restrictions. Yet, when Trump issued his own, WHO argued against him.
- WHO only declared a health emergency after 4,000 people died and 100,000 people were infected in 114 countries.
One last thought about the actual success of current vaccination policies, with an international twist:
Canada has reported its two highest case totals of the pandemic the past two days, and cases are nearing all time highs, even with mask mandates, vaccine passports and well over 80% of the entire population vaccinated
As always, doing “what we know works,” doesn’t actually work pic.twitter.com/H2EcDIIu24
— IM (@ianmSC) December 23, 2021
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