Who Believes WHO?

Roughly ten years ago, I had the opportunity to meet an honest-to-goodness IPCC scientist who had been awarded what he called a “sliver” of the Nobel Prize, the same one for which Al Gore received most of the credit. This particular climate expert had become mildly annoyed by some of my online criticisms about his specific area of expertise because I tended to side with the skeptics. I had been extremely critical of Phil Jones, Michael Mann’s hockey stick, Climategate, and Rajendra Pachauri in particular. As a result, I spent several hours at my new friend’s house at his invitation, where I marveled at his impressive display of processing power (he had the equivalent of a mainframe in his living room) while peppering him with questions about the evidence for climate change and the statistical models he had personally developed. Those models had been used to help predict some of the dire global warming claims in Gore’s movie.

Somewhat surprisingly, my climate scientist friend and I found ourselves in agreement almost as often as we disagreed -- for example, we agreed that the devastating effect of deforestation on local climate is obvious to anyone who has visited the Big Apple, but the relative lack of trees in New York City does not also make it any warmer or windier in Wyoming. I protested his claim that the world had reached some sort of a tipping point in regard to carbon emissions, but we agreed that nuclear power was a more reliable and efficient source of energy than wind or solar, provided we solved the nuclear waste disposal issue. I explained that during my two decades of experience as a software developer I had also had plenty of experience with computer simulation models and was considered an expert on computers. As a result, I was painfully aware that the primary weakness of any otherwise robust computer system is called GIGO by software developers. The acronym literally means Garbage In (produces) Garbage Out -- so, if your raw data is bad, the processed information is going to be worthless garbage.

I was forced to remind my new friend that other skeptics had discovered temperature monitoring stations in paved parking lots and other absurd locations that would produce artificially high temperatures -- one station was even found under the exhaust vent for an HVAC unit. No matter how great his model might work with accurate data, if his peers gave him garbage data, his results produced by his model would be useless.  I mentioned the “Climategate” scandal, the research of skeptical scientists like Dr. Roy Spencer, the Little Ice Age, Medieval Warming Period, “Mike’s Nature Trick”, and hiding the decline.  I’m pretty sure I might have thrown in a reference or two to the appendix of Michael Crichton’s novel State of Fear, where he hammered home that CO2 is a trace gas in our atmosphere, measured in parts per million. Probably the most important tidbit of information I learned that day was when he explained the organizational structure of the IPCC. I also learned that not every IPCC climate scientist was a fraud and a bad person. My new IPCC expert-friend even gave me the tip that inspired one of the first articles I wrote for American Thinker, my piece about the abandoned nuclear storage facility under Yucca Mountain.

The astute reader is probably wondering, what do the IPCC and WHO have in common? That’s an excellent question. The correct answer is not both organizations are part of that behemoth known as the United Nations. WHO is a specialized agency of the U.N. allegedly responsible for international public health, part of the U.N. Sustainable Development Group.

This means in reality, the WHO is a political organization, not a medical one. What the IPCC is to climate science, WHO is to medicine. In other words, put a stethoscope on Bozo the Clown, and he could be the WHO media relations specialist. Remember the story of the gang who couldn’t shoot straight? WHO are the people who heard that story and said, “Hold my beer.”

How incompetent are the WHO? On January 14th, 2020, the WHO tweeted that the COVID-19 virus wasn’t spread by person-to-person contact.  But hey, everybody makes the occasional mistake, right? Nobody is perfect…but some of us are far more imperfect than others.

The problem is that people usually die when the WHO makes a mistake. They also made a mistake in 2017 during a tuberculosis outbreak. According to the NIH even before that, WHO’s reputation took a beating during the Ebola crisis for an ineffective operational response.  As a health organization, WHO is rather pathetic. In 2004 the WHO was even accused of malpractice by a group of medical experts because hundreds of thousands of children died unnecessarily when WHO bought and distributed outdated and ineffective malaria drugs. In fact, during every international health crisis in recent memory, WHO has done a marvelous impression of bumbling French Police Inspector Clouseau except unlike Peter Sellers, WHO isn’t even a little bit funny.

The only thing the WHO actually excels at doing is political manipulation of the media. Consider this disturbing exchange between a reporter from Hong Kong and WHO’s Dr. Bruce Aylward as proof. When the interviewer asks Dr. Aylward whether or not the WHO might reconsider Taiwan’s request to join the organization during the crisis, he ignores her and lies, claiming he didn’t hear the question while telling her to change the subject. When the reporter repeats her question instead, he hangs up on her. Finally, when she managed to get the weasel back on the phone, the reporter didn’t ask about Taiwan joining WHO but instead asked how they had performed in handling COVID-19. Aylward outrageously replied that all the different areas of China had done a good job of handling the virus.

Seriously? All of China handled COVID-19 well? Hmmm. According to the official reports from the Chinese government, only 2,500 people have died from the Chinese coronavirus is Wuhan, but according to local residents, the real number is closer to 40,000. To be fair, the interviewer was trying to get Aylward to acknowledge Taiwan’s independent status, which would have provoked Beijing, but he didn’t have to repeat the Communist Party’s talking points, either.

After a recent trip to China in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic, Aylward apparently didn’t even bother to quarantine himself. Presumably he wasn’t wearing a hazmat suit the whole time, meaning his actions bordered on recklessness.

When the WHO set a target to cut the number of deaths by malaria in half by 2010, what happened? Deaths by malaria actually increased because WHO bought cheaper, ineffective medicines to treat sick children in Africa. The cure cost more than $1 per pill, but the much less effective drug was only 13 cents per dose. The WHO saved themselves some money but killed a lot of children. Politics and medicine never mix very well.

If by chance you still have a smidgen of confidence in WHO after knowing their track record, please consider that in the middle of this health crisis, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus somehow found the time to chat with “healthcare expert” Lady Gaga on the phone to tell her what she could do to help fight coronavirus--after wishing her a Happy Birthday, of course. Now if you’re like me, you’re probably going to sleep a little easier tonight, knowing that Lady Gaga is on the case, trying to protect us all from COVID-19. God help us.

In the future when you see these clowns treated as credible experts by the media just ask yourself, WHO do you think you’re fooling?

John Leonard is a freelance writer and most recently editor of the Rootstock series of epic fantasy novels. You may find him on Facebook or contact him through his website at southernprose.com.