According to this report from the Washington Post, the United Nations is planning to acknowledge that it has vastly overstated a supposed looming global catastrophe. This time around it is not global warming, but AIDS.
The United Nations' top AIDS scientists plan to acknowledge this week that they have long overestimated both the size and the course of the epidemic, which they now believe has been slowing for nearly a decade, according to U.N. documents prepared for the announcement. AIDS remains a devastating public health crisis in the most heavily affected areas of sub-Saharan Africa. But the far-reaching revisions amount to at least a partial acknowledgment of criticisms long leveled by outside researchers who disputed the U.N. portrayal of an ever-expanding global epidemic. [....]
Critics have also said that U.N. officials overstated the extent of the epidemic to help gather political and financial support for combating AIDS.
"There was a tendency toward alarmism, and that fit perhaps a certain fundraising agenda," said Helen Epstein, author of "The Invisible Cure: Africa, the West, and the Fight Against AIDS." "I hope these new numbers will help refocus the response in a more pragmatic way."
The old television news maxim, "if it bleeds, it leads" applies to scientific and medical research as well. It has taken a long time for the UN to acknowledge its critics were right. In the meantime, resources have been misdirected and false alarms raised.
Don't expect any consequences for this problem. This is the United Nations, after all.
Hat tip: Blendi