Trump and the WHO: BBC Fact Check

Trump seeks to blame somebody……anybody will do.

“The WHO failed to adequately obtain, vet and share information in a timely and transparent fashion.”

“This has become a regular theme of Mr Trump’s criticism of the WHO, and in his letter to its head Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus on 18 May, he renewed this attack saying the WHO “consistently ignored credible reports of the virus spreading in Wuhan in early December 2019 or even earlier”.”

“Mr Trump specifically highlighted reporting by the Lancet medical journal.”

“The editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, has written a letter in response, saying: “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.””

Read the rest of the article……

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Medicynical note:  The article exposes Trump’s unwillingness to accept facts and disarms his accusations against the W.H.O.  Trump denied the seriousness of the epidemic all the way into March.  He blew off intelligence briefings in December; reports of cases and spread in January; and the possibility of a pandemic into March.  As late as February 24 he fired a prominent CDC expert for raising the alarm about covid-19 disease spread.

And when he did his only “early” intervention, the stoppage of flights from China, he did not stop the entry of 40,000 or so U.S. travelers from China.  They received no serious screening on return and were forced to mingle in huge crowds at U.S. customs and immigration.  Trump also did little to nothing to stop the travel of infected citizens from Europe.  And as the W.H.O. predicted this type intervention is not particularly effective…..to whit we have the worst epidemic in the world in the U.S.

His vendetta against W.H.O. reminds me a little of the Korean era when the Russians dropped out of active participation in the U.N. and in doing so allowed the U.S. to put together an international force to oppose North Korea in the Korean conflict. They couldn’t veto an action when they weren’t present.

Abdication means loss of influence, not only in the W.H.O. but in all international multinational bodies.  If loss of influence around the world was Trump’s goal.  He’s succeeded.  Thanks to him, we, the U.S., are perceived as a declining power run by an ignoramus.  Congrats to us.

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