Defund the World Health Organization

There’s been a lot of social media umbrage at how the World Health Organization conveniently skipped the Greek letter Xi in naming the latest Covid variant, presumably to avoid embarrassing China’s Dear Leader. In truth, WHO skipping letters in their own naming convention (designed in the first place to eliminate references to Wuhan) is merely ridiculous, not dangerous. 

What’s dangerous is WHO leadership placing Chinese political interests ahead of global health interests, something Tedros and team have done from the start of the Covid pandemic.

Where possible, China wants to criminalize speech that doesn’t follow the official party line. If that speech can’t be criminalized, China wants to ban it through the cooperative censorship of global tech and media platforms. If that speech can’t be banned, China wants us to reject it as “fake news”.

Dr. Tedros, a man who covered up cholera epidemics in Ethiopia and appointed Robert freakin’ Mugabe as a Goodwill Ambassador, is China’s foremost stooge in this narrative control campaign. He is a mole in the Great Pandemic Narrative War, hand-picked by China for precisely this purpose, and the rest of the world has paid a heavy price for his unwavering support of Beijing’s political interests. 

On Feb. 4, 2020, after a private meeting with Xi, Tedros formally announced to the WHO Executive Board that there was no need to “interfere with international travel and trade” in or out of China and, more specifically, that restricting Chinese flights was “counter-productive” to fighting the global spread of the virus. 

This was a lie in service to Chinese political interests, and Tedros (and the entire WHO Executive Board) knew it. They knew it was a lie because a week earlier, WHO-sponsored doctors in Hong Kong published independent studies showing it was a lie, that the only way to contain the international spread of a virus this infectious was to shut down travel.

In the following crucial weeks, Tedros focused WHO resources on narrative containment, not virus containment. In addition to a personal media campaign of speeches and op-eds against the evils of “misinformation and rumours”, Tedros negotiated with Twitter, Facebook, Tencent and TikTok for platform-imposed limits on Covid-related posts.

Most critically, Tedros reached an agreement with Google to alter its search algorithm so that WHO-sponsored sites would appear at the top of Covid-related searches.

Two “false conspiracy theories” were the primary targets of WHO efforts at narrative control – a Wuhan lab origin and “exaggerations about the number of sick and dead” in China.

Not coincidentally, these were the primary targets of Beijing’s efforts at narrative control, too.

The WHO narrative control effort on behalf of the Chinese government continued in 2021 with the “fact-finding mission” to Wuhan to investigate the origins of the Covid virus. 

The crack team assembled by WHO literally spent more time “visiting a museum celebrating China’s success in controlling the virus in Wuhan and a frozen food storage facility at a local wholesale market” than at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. 

They determined that it is “highly unlikely” that the Covid virus originated at the local Level-4 biolab doing gain-of-function research on these very same coronaviruses. So unlikely, in fact, that the lab-escape hypothesis would no longer be a subject for any future WHO investigation on this topic.  

It was entirely possible, though, that the virus was brought into Wuhan via frozen American pork, Russian squid, or Saudi shrimp.

This potential “transmission through the trade of frozen cold-chain products”, not coincidentally China’s favored explanation for the Wuhan outbreak, clearly deserved extensive WHO investigation in the future.

I am not making this up.

The World Health Organization is not just a disgrace. It is not just a humiliation for the thousands of researchers and clinicians doing good work under their auspices.

It is a betrayal of the entire world. 

Fortunately, WHO is an umbrella funding organization, not a scientific research organization in its own right. Donors provide both assessed contributions (nations in proportion to their UN funding assessments) and voluntary contributions (nations and charitable organizations in whatever amounts they wish), and WHO doles out the funds to worthy applicants under various program headings. 

Interestingly, the top three donors to WHO in the 2018-2019 budget cycle – the US government ($893 million), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation ($531 million) and the UK government ($435 million) – gave 24 times more money to WHO than China (~$78 million). 

There is zero reason why the donor funds that WHO currently channels to scientists and research programs cannot be allocated directly.

This is exactly what the US, the Gates Foundation, the UK, the Gavi Alliance (a vehicle for additional US, Gates Foundation and UK/European funding), Germany and Japan should do — allocate directly to the researchers and clinicians who further global health interests, not Beijing’s political interests.

Defund the World Health Organization.

Defund the narrative.

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  1. I agree. With all of it.
    But how exactly can this be done?
    Not a rhetorical question, I’m interested in the mechanics of defunding the WHO.

  2. Can you elaborate on what specifically you are asking that’s not covered in @bhunt last paragraph?

    This is exactly what the US, the Gates Foundation, the UK, the Gavi Alliance (a vehicle for additional US, Gates Foundation and UK/European funding), Germany and Japan should do — allocate directly to the researchers and clinicians who further global health interests, not Beijing’s political interests.

    Seems pretty exact to me.

  3. Avatar for Zenzei Zenzei says:

    Aaron - any practical ideas as to what would motivate Gates foundation to move in this direction? I think that is what Em is asking. I have the same question. I’ve tangled with the Gates foundation a number of times around education policy, and well, let’s just say they are very insular and full of their own heritage.

  4. Perhaps do it yourself through decentralization and technology, similar to this group. Or support people who have creative ideas in different areas that have more decentralized approaches. it is hard in this increasingly monopolized world for these groups to get the help they need. Maybe create a list of these groups so we can find them easily.

    Not changing the Gates foundation…just coming up with a better option from the ground up that is hard to ignore. Thanks for your thoughts.

  5. Tell him if he donates directly to the causes and bypasses the WHO we will collectively give him a pass for whatever Epstein-related crimes he almost certainly committed?

  6. Like this - but notice how it was covered.

    Then this:

  7. My Gen X skeptical mind can think of plenty of possibilities. The billions in that foundation are dollars from our pockets paying higher margins than needed on Win 95, Exchange Server (required and overkill for a small company). That money could have been used to retain leaving talent, donated prior to compounding to the moon, or returned to investors. Having strong evidence of how an investment advisor with a couple billion was targeted with me caught in the middle, I shouldn’t be able to imagine the effort to target the foundation.

    But we don’t have to imagine now. Just be open to possibilities. My guess is that if you wanted funds from the foundation, you needed to get yourself an Epstein tape of Bill Gates, or be someone of high influence. There’s no other logical reason for Gates to pay middle men. He spends lots of time reading research, and knows who is making serious advancements. He could donate straight to sources. I expect we’re just getting started with this story and @bhunt can’t speculate like we can until hard :crazy_face: evidence comes out (oh that’s bad).

    What’s surprising to me is that apparently the general public didn’t know that Gates is a deviant. Did nobody see Revenge of the Nerds and consider what happens when that guy wins? He doesn’t become a hopeless romantic in a committed relationship. He spent hours on his computer watching porn fantasizing while the jock was making his own (yes I went to high school with Shawn Kemp). Gates was a long time keynote at CES, when it was just a gathering of geeks. Years ago I read that was the most profitable week for Las Vegas prostitution.

    I just don’t see how that’s really relevant to what needs to happen. A foundation that size must have a board and staff and be audited. I would hope they don’t want to be stained as Racoons of Charity! that approved decisions because Gates couldn’t keep it in his pants and became an Epstein mark.

    EDIT: said more succinctly above by @Desperate_Yuppie

  8. Avatar for ameya ameya says:

    Honest question, why does the WHO care about the Chinese government’s feelings when China contributes a tiny fraction of their overall funding? I’d completely understand the WHO bending over backwards for the US, but it just doesn’t make sense to me why they might do it for ‘China’s Dear Leader’. What’s in it for the WHO?

  9. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    A couple of things are at work here, I think.

    #1) Off the record (and you hear this from organizations like the Gates Foundation, too), people will tell you that WHO does not want to lose “access” to information and research that comes out of China, which they think might happen if they don’t toe the CCP line on issues like virus origin and Taiwan. My personal opinion is that this is largely a post-hoc justification for …

    #2) WHO leadership positions have historically had VERY high input from China, as they’ve made this one of their major focus points for their UN participation. Both the former WHO director general, Margaret Chan (2006-2017), and the current director general, Tedros (2017+), were quite literally hand-picked by China.

  10. In my prior non-finance life I used to work for one of the big GAVI donors. FWIW Gates puts a ton of money into research directly through direct grants and program-related investments as do a few other large donors in the space. Many of you will know them as they happen to be also among the world’s largest endowments…
    As for getting rid of WHO - it is quite difficult, because they do more than just allocate funding. The example I dealt with the most would be vaccine/med device approval for countries that can’t afford their own regulatory body (e.g. FDA). They also do a fair bit of data collection in places that won’t do it on their own and then of course the aggregation also from places that do. I’m sure there are other areas within WHO scope I just don’t know about.
    Now why China has managed to hijack the WHO but not say the World Bank or other UN agencies is beyond my paygrade, but certainly a question that I’d love to be able to answer. I guess my point is that just like the Bank it has a few other key activities that would be hard to fill by say a private foundation or a sovereign so defunding may have unforeseen consequences.

  11. Avatar for bhunt bhunt says:

    Strong post, Elina, thank you! Like many UN agencies, there’s valuable low-level and behind-the-scenes work that takes place at WHO, which is why I’m always careful to distinguish between WHO leadership and the researchers and clinicians who work under WHO auspices. I still believe, on balance, that the good works (including the regulatory work for poorer nations) can be accomplished through other venues.

  12. Does this change anything going forward? Or is it business as usual within Gates Inc?

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