The Industrially Necessary Doctor Tedros

There's this pleasing mythology out there that the World Health Organization is like some international version of the Center for Disease Control, that it's staffed by scientists and doctors flying all over the world and racing against the clock to battle infectious diseases and - against all odds - find The Cure.

I mean, that's an actual subplot of Contagion, where an intrepid WHO scientist tracks down the disease origin in Hong Kong, goes to the remote Chinese village where all of the children are sick (the children!), is taken prisoner, and works heroically (if ultimately unsuccessfully) to get vaccines to the children (the children!).

This is a crock.

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  1. Do the UN/WHO/etc belong within one’s Globalization cartoon? I ask only because this haiku occurred to me after reading this note:

    Leverage for corruption
    Now, populism

    In an environment of sovereign governments and their uncoordinated propaganda, there’s at least a kind of global market of narratives. As global regulatory bodies are added to the system, regulatory capture by deep pockets changes character. Markets as political utilities. #suckup
    Maybe populism as a whole, even though it has particular instantiations with all kinds of problems, is a hopeful thing in this respect.

  2. Avatar for bobk71 bobk71 says:

    Is the corona virus a bioweapon?

    Scientists have found HIV fragments in the virus DNA that seem unlikely to be naturally evolved.

    We know that this virus has certain unprecedented behaviors, like long incubation period, asymptomatic transmission, ease of transmission and severe re-infection that seem designed to evade containment.

    And FWIW, the White House announced an investigation of the virus as a weapon.

    But, if you think that the shenanigans stop with the Chinese government, think again. Apparently, a Canadian lab (ie one exempt from strict post-9/11 rules on securing bio agents) has been in the habit of getting its vials ‘stolen’ by Chinese. Strangely, its director just died while attending a conference in Kenya. For details and background, see this link.

    To make the plot even thicker, it seems the virus predominantly targets East Asians who have a far higher proportion of ACE2 receptor cells than Caucasians, Africans or Arabs. (It’s through these receptors that the virus binds to and attacks human cells.)

    I don’t know anything beyond the public information. What I can say is:

    Objectively, at the end of the expansionary phase of the asset-inflation cycle of the modern financial and economic system, it benefits the long-term stability of the system to have a reset or re-calibration. Such an event is always painful, at the very least transferring wealth from one set of people to another. But if it can be blamed on something other than the core nature of the system, then it’s a net benefit to the system. (This applies to the Chinese economy, all other economies, and the global economy as a whole.)

  3. In other words, anywhere you go, there are people willing to put on a black Hugo Boss uniform.

  4. Maybe the Weather Channel should cover pandemics!

  5. It’s interesting that Tom Cotton and others have taken flak over suggesting that it is a bio-weapon as it has been “debunked.” By Whom, exactly? Well, here, for starters: “Cui Tiankai, Chinese ambassador to the U.S., denounced Cotton’s misinformation on “Face The Nation” earlier this month.” What possible motive would he have to say that? #BodyCount. More here: “Vipin Narang, an associate professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, told The Washington Post that “we don’t have any evidence” that the general population was exposed to a virus through an accident at a lab. He called Cotton’s speculation a conspiracy theory that was borderline irresponsible.” WTF?!! And: “Richard Ebright, a professor of chemical biology at Rutgers University, told the Post that there was nothing in the genome sequence of the coronavirus that indicated it had been engineered.” “Debunked,” No evidence and nothing that indicated it was engineered is a “pretty f’ing far” from way from “disproven.” (H/T Marcellus Wallace). I think Cotton’s pretty far out there but to actively suppress this and call him out when we know pretty much next to nothing about the origins of the virus is part of the fiat news we are fed daily. Clear eyes, full heart, can’t get infected…I hope…

  6. That this guy is still alive is a surprise ……he has written this long but beautiful piece from inside China……describing exactly what we discuss here on ET…

    a quote from the piece :

    “Ours is a system in which The Ultimate Arbiter [an imperial-era term used by state media to describe Xi Jinping] monopolizes power. It results in what I call “organizational discombobulation” that, in turn, has served to enable a dangerous “systemic impotence” at every level. A political culture has thereby been nurtured that, in terms of the real public good, is ethically bankrupt, for it is one that strains to vouchsafe its privatized Party-State, or what they call their “Mountains and Rivers” while abandoning the people over which it holds sway to suffer the vicissitudes of a cruel fate. It is a system that turns every natural disaster into an even greater man-made catastrophe. The coronavirus epidemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance; the fragile and vacuous heart of the jittering edifice of state has thereby shown up as never before.
    This viral outbreak, which has been exacerbated into a national calamity by the power-holders, is more perilous perhaps than total war itself, for everything is being caught up by the struggle—the nation’s ethical fabric, its politics, our society, as well as the economy. Let me say that again—it is even more perilous than total war, for it lays the nation open to a kind of devastation that even foreign invaders in the past had failed to visit upon us. The ancients put it well, “Only thieves nurtured at home can truly despoil a homeland.” Although the Americans may well be trying to undermine our economy, here at home The Axlerod is himself beating them to it! Please note: just as the epidemic was reaching a critical moment, He made a big deal about being “Personally This” and “Personally That“ [when meeting Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, director-general of the WHO on 29 January, Xi made a point of saying that he was “personally commanding” the response to the outbreak, a statement that was widely derided online]. Empty words that only serve to highlight the hypocrisy. Such claims served merely to elicit nationwide outrage and sow desolation in the hearts of the people.”

  7. /looks uncomfortably at the dark grey Hugo Boss suit in my closet

  8. I watched blue check marks repeating CCP propoganda and gleefully mocking those who dared to suggest that perhaps human error in a lab THAT STUDIES THESE KINDS OF VIRUSES could be the source of this whole thing. One has to be willfully stupid or well-paid to have the level of disconnect that some of them have. As if it’s not possible that a lab tech was having a lousy day–maybe he has a newborn at home and isn’t sleeping well–and misses some minor saftey procedure. It doesn’t take much for there to be accidental leakage. But suggest that to our media betters on Twitter and watch them as they chuckle at you, you country rube.

  9. Avatar for bobk71 bobk71 says:

    At this point, this being a bioweapon is not far-fetched as at first. Even if we discount the Indian scientists’ finding of HIV DNA parts in the virus, we have anecdotal evidence that HIV drugs are at least sometimes effective against this disease. Also, Japan has just announced it will use HIV drugs to treat its sick.

  10. Avatar for bobk71 bobk71 says:

    I totally understand why it seems unthinkable that the elites of any country would deliberately release a virus. But think of World War I, an even worse catastrophe. The media is still struggling to explain why Britain and the US joined the war and got almost 1 million Britons killed. Objectively, the war did achieve a necessary financial-imperial re-calibration where the seat of empire was moved from Britain to a friendly US, with unfriendly Germany decidedly knocked out of the running.

    My mantra is ‘they may not want to, but they have to.’ Think of the consequences of inaction. If the long-built-up asset bubble is not deflated (or replanted,) its disorderly bursting would not only cause worldwide economic cataclysm, but this could more directly be linked to the money system in the public mind, thus threatening the entire basis of power of the elites of all countries.

    All I’m saying is, let’s keep an open mind, for now.

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