COVID-19 Day 23: Politics over Pathology

Another stunning example of why COVID-19 is a worldwide pandemic: Politics is more important than Pathology.

During an interview about COVID-19, a senior official from the U.N.’s World Health Organization (WHO), appeared to hang up on a reporter when she asked him about Taiwan. She Skyp’ed  him back but he quickly ended the interview. Taiwan, along with Hong Kong, Singapore, and South Korea, have been successful in tackling COVID-19 and have been praised by US and European health experts. But the WHO can’t mention Taiwan.

Taiwan is an island nation, founded by the Nationalist Chinese government after losing the Chinese civil war. The People’s Republic of China insists that they are the only China; Taiwan isn’t an independent country but a rebel province. Because of this, Taiwan is a taboo subject for any individual or organization that has close ties to China.

The WHO, as an office of the United Nations, is supposed to be an independent body. But since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in Wuhan, the WHO didn’t just work with but seemed to work FOR the Chinese authorities. The WHO parroted Chinese misinformation about the virus to other national health services. Even going so far as to defend China from blame for its cover-ups.

This is egregious, when we consider that the hardest hit countries like Italy, Spain, and the US all downplayed the dangers of COVID-19 on faulty information from the WHO.  Conversely, information about Taiwan’s successful efforts at combatting COVID-19, could help other nations in implementing their public health strategies.

I don’t envy Dr. Aylward’s awkward position. But when the WHO has go to those lengths to avoid using an “offensive word”, they are putting a higher priority on politics than lives.




Comments are closed.