ONE: Fair Dinkum
Trump has no evidence whatsoever to launch this bizarre attack the WHO. So, why did he do it? As a superpower, the US have always been obsessed with having an enemy or an adversary for domestic political reasons, as Dr Tedros suggests in his response (see below).
Let’s be clear: When the Cold War ended after the break-up of the Soviet Union, the US continued to regard Russia as No. 1 enemy. Then it became Iran. After Sept 11, it became Iraq and based on US lies submitted to the UN they initiated an illegal war. When the Soviet Union were in Afghanistan, the US sided with Osama bin Laden and the Taliban. The US side with terrorists whenever they like.
Likewise, whenever North Korea undertakes missile testing, they become No. 1 enemy. When China’s power increased so as to rival the US, that act alone has made them No. 1 enemy in the eyes of the US. Now, Trump is labeling the WHO as their adversary. In each of the cases, there is never any evidence. There is no justification, no sound case to be made. And if the US government doesn’t have evidence, what do they do? They instruct their intelligence services to manufacture evidence as the US did with Iraq in the UN in 2003.
When you compare the history of WHO’s response to the coronavirus to the US, there is no comparison. It is the US government and Donald Trump that have failed. The response of the WHO far more substantial than the toxic garbage spewing out of Trump’s mouth. His press conferences have descended into farce. He is a windbag, full of hot air.
His propaganda team send out emails and text messages every day to millions of Americans praising Trump as a great leader who will save America from the crisis, and demonizing and destroying his critics, and rewriting the narrative to bolster his great role in saving the world. The reality is very different. In truth, he has done very little other than to use his press conference to whinge, wasting precious time praising his own leadership in grandiose delusions.
The Nazis did exactly the same but instead of emails and text messaging, the Nazis used the medium of radio. The Nazis produced a very cheap radio set every German could afford which allowed them to disseminate lies to the masses which were believed. It is easy to fool millions of people and like the Nazis, Trump is deceiving millions of Americans to rally around him and to accept his lies. But for those Americans who allow the lie to enter them and to be replicated by them, they become a participant in the lie.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is person of great integrity and expertise, who genuinely cares about the peoples of all nations. He has the humility needed to serve humanity. A person without humility is useless, and Trump is a fine example of a useless leader. The WHO is NOT China-centric. Dr Michael Ryan is able to get to the heart of any problem quickly and to present to the world advice and responses in a clear, simple and cogent form. Trump cannot match any of these people.
Dr Tedros response to Trump’s criticism was brilliant. He said, “The focus of all political parties should be to save their people. Please don’t politicalize this virus. It exploits the differences you have at the national level. If you want to be exploited [by the virus] and if you want to have more body bags, then do it. If you don’t want many more body bags then refrain from politicalizing it.”
These are wise words. What does Trump offer us? A constant stream of whining and lying to serve his own massive ego and to distract us away from his blunders and to disingenuously blame innocent parties. By wasting time launching a dishonest attack on the World Health Organization, he is supporting the coronavirus, giving it an advantage to kill more Americans and to increase every day the number of body bags.
I am devising a table of events that compares the responses of WHO, Trump, Australia and Britain on a daily basis since 1 January as evidence to totally refute Trump’s absurd claims.
The World Health Organization is the only global entity equipped to respond with appropriate advice and expertise for all governments and people. The good folk at the WHO are committed to the challenge and have consistently avoided politics and playing the blame game. They understand well there is no time for this garbage. Once again, it reveals Trump appalling leadership, qualifying him as the most dangerous President in US history.
TWO: WHO Director-General’s opening remarks at VPC on COVID-19
Dear Journalists, Please find below the link to opening remarks given today, 8 April, by WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus at the virtual press conference on COVID-19.
Opening remarks: Media briefing on COVID-19
WHO HQ, Geneva, Switzerland, 8 April 2020
Good morning, good afternoon and good evening.
Tomorrow marks 100 days since WHO was notified of the first cases of “pneumonia with unknown cause” in China. It’s incredible to reflect on how dramatically the world has changed, in such a short period of time.
Today I’d like to give an overview of what WHO has done in the past 100 days, and what we will be doing in the near future to alleviate suffering and save lives.
On the 1st of January, just hours after we were notified of the first cases, WHO activated its Incident Management Support Team, to coordinate our response at headquarters, regional and country level. On the 5th of January, WHO officially notified all Member States of this new outbreak, and published a disease outbreak news on our website.
On the 10th of January, we issued a comprehensive package of guidance to countries on how to detect, test and manage potential cases, and protect health workers. On the same day, we convened our strategic and technical advisory group on infectious hazards to review the situation.
We have been engaging with journalists since the beginning, responding to media enquiries around the clock. We convened the emergency committee on the 22nd of January, and again a week later, after the first cases of human-to-human transmission were reported outside China, and declared a public health emergency of international concern – our highest level of alarm. At the time there were 98 cases outside China, and no deaths.
In February an international team of experts from Canada, China, Germany, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Nigeria, the Russian Federation, Singapore and the United States of America visited affected provinces in China to learn more about the virus, the outbreak and the response, and to glean lessons for the rest of the world.
In early February the United Nations Crisis Management Team was activated, to coordinate the entire machinery the UN to support countries as effectively as possible.
Since then, we have been working day and night in five key areas.
First, we’ve worked to support countries in building their capacity to prepare and respond. Through WHO’s network of 6 regional offices and 150 country offices, we’ve worked closely with governments around the world to prepare their health systems for COVID-19, and to respond when cases arrive.
We issued a Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, which identified the major actions countries need to take, and the resources needed to carry them out.
Governments and partners rose to the challenge. More than US$800 million has been pledged or received for the response. That includes more than US$140 million from more than 229,000 individuals and organizations raised through the Solidarity Response Fund, exceeding all our expectations, and showing true global solidarity.
I’d like to thank all donors for their support, including Apple for its contribution of US$10 million. To ensure this money is used where it’s needed most, we’ve set up an online portal, to help partners match needs with funds.
Second, we’ve worked with numerous partners to provide accurate information and fight the infodemic. We’ve published 50 pieces of technical guidance for the public, health workers and countries, providing evidence-based advice on every element of the response.
We activated our global expert networks to tap the world’s leading epidemiologists, clinicians, social-scientists, statisticians, virologists, risk communicators and others, to make our response truly global and capture all the support we need from all over the world, from WHO experts and other experts in many other institutions globally.
Our EPI-WIN team has adapted our advice for individuals and communities, health workers, employers and workers, faith-based organizations and more about how to protect themselves and others.
Through our daily situation reports and these regular press briefings, we have kept the world informed about the latest data, information and evidence.
We have held regular briefings with our Member States, to answer their questions, and learn from their experiences.
We have worked with numerous media and tech companies including Facebook, Google, Instagram, LinkedIn, Messenger, Pinterest, SnapChat, Tencent, TikTok, Twitter, Viber, WhatsApp, YouTube and more to counter myths and misinformation with reliable, evidence-based advice.
The WhatsApp chatbot now has more than 12 million followers and is available in 7 languages, including Hindi and Portuguese, which are launching today. The Viber chatbot has more than 2 million followers, in three languages and four more to launch next week, reaching out to the citizens of the world, the person in the street, informing them with the latest information we have.
Just in the past two days we convened an online workshop to crowdsource ideas from over 600 experts, institutions and individuals on ways to combat the infodemic.
We have worked with FIFA and some of the world’s biggest sports stars to promote clean hands and physical activity.
And since we announced the One World: Together at Home concert with Lady Gaga and Global Citizen on Monday, more TV networks and online platforms from around the world have contacted us offering to broadcast the concert. Lady Gaga has informed us she has already raised US$35 million.
Third, we’re working hard to ensure supplies of essential medical equipment for frontline health workers. So far, we’ve shipped more than 2 million items of personal protective equipment to 133 countries, and we’re preparing to ship another 2 million items in the coming weeks.
We’ve sent more than 1 million diagnostic tests to 126 countries, in all regions, and we’re sourcing more. But we know much more is needed. This is not enough.
So we’re working with the International Chamber of Commerce, the World Economic Forum and others in the private sector to ramp up the production and distribution of essential medical supplies.
Today we are launching the UN COVID-19 Supply Chain Task Force, to dramatically scale up the supply of these life-saving tools, and match supply with needs. I would like to use this opportunity to thank the Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for brining all UN agencies together to contribute to the Supply Chain Task Force.
Fourth, we’re working to train and mobilize health workers. More than 1.2 million people have enrolled in 6 courses in 43 languages on our OpenWHO.org platform. Our target is to train tens of millions, and we have all the readiness to train tens of millions, hundreds of millions.
Experts have been deployed around the world through WHO’s Global Outbreak Alert and Response Network and our Emergency Medical Teams platform.
And fifth, we’ve accelerated research and development. In February we brought more than 400 of the world’s leading researchers together to identify and accelerate research priorities.
We launched the Solidarity Trial, with more than 90 countries working together to find effective therapeutics as soon as possible.
To better understand the transmission, epidemiology and clinical features of the virus, we have developed research protocols that are being used in more than 40 countries, in a coordinated way. We’re working with FIND to accelerate development and access to diagnostics.
Today, 130 scientists, funders and manufacturers from around the world have signed a statement committing to work with WHO to speed the development of a vaccine against COVID-19.
Of course, WHO is not alone. The UN is not alone. Every day, we work with thousands of partners in government, academia, the private sector, civil society and more.
There are many, many other things WHO has done in the past 100 days that I haven’t mentioned.
These five pillars will continue to be the foundation of our work.
In the coming days, WHO will be releasing an updated strategy, and a revised Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan, with an estimate of the financial needs for the next phase of the response.
Throughout, our focus has been on working with countries and with partners to bring the world together to confront this common threat together. We are especially concerned with protecting the world’s poorest and most vulnerable, not just in the poorest countries, but in all countries.
For the past 100 days, our unwavering commitment has been to serve all people of the world with equity, objectivity and neutrality. And that will continue to be our sole focus in the days, weeks and months ahead.
Finally, this is a special time of year for Christians, Jews and Muslims around the world. Today WHO has published practical considerations and recommendations for faith-based communities.
We know that COVID-19 means billions of believers are not able to celebrate in the way they usually would. But we wish everyone a safe and joyful Easter, Passover and Ramadan.
Link to WHO updates on COVID-19: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019
WHO Media Team