This is the World Health Organisation (WHO) we are talking about. A global health organisation working in solidarity with 194 members states to detect and protect the world from health related pandemics.
But with each passing day under the leadership of its Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus – the WHO – is exposing its own incompetency, preference to members states such as China, lack of authority to deal with a health crisis and no accountability of its failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus pandemic across the world.
The flip-flop over the WHO’s stand on Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) is not only shocking but frightening.
The world has put its faith due to lack of options in the WHO when there is no accountability for its actions at all. In fact the Dr Tedros should have been asked to step down by now. He is at best a leader of a group of advisory experts not action-oriented problem solvers.
The WHO must be made redundant. I have stated this fact before. If it has no accountability it cannot act assertively or aggressively. Its personnel can only wax eloquently to the media on issues without ever detecting or preventing a pandemic. It only sells the cure and prepares nations and their people to wait for the cure.
The WHO decided to suddenly drop HCQ from its global study into COVID-19 treatments. This was a decision taken by its Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial.
The Executive Group took its decision based on a report that appeared on the medical journal The Lancet.
It is not only shockingly but disturbing that a reputed medical journal The Lancet did not even verify the credentials of the researchers and authors of the US firm – Surgisphere that wrote the report on HCQ stating that people taking HCQ were at a higher risk of death and heart-related problems than those who were not taking HCQ.
The Executive Group – which is a group of medical experts working for the WHO did not on its own verify the credential of the authors and researchers of the report on HCQ. It relied on the simple fact that it appeared on The Lancet.
The report was reportedly funded by the William Harvey Distinguished Chair in Advanced Cardiovascular Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
It took the WHO three days to decide that HCQ needed to be dropped from its global study on COVID-19 treatments, temporarily. The Lancet published the report on May 22, 2020. On May 25, 2020 announced that HCQ was dropped.
Now compare the urgency to derail HCQ with the slow pace to call for a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) on January 30, 20202, even after the simple defining fact that the WHO knew about its human-to-human transmission on January 13, 2020.
Compare the urgency to derail HCQ with slow pace to categorise COVID-19 as a pandemic. The WHO categorised COVID-19 as a pandemic on May 11, 2020. Six weeks after it declared a PHEIC. Most countries initiated partial or complete lockdown post categorisation of COVID-19 as a pandemic. By that time the coronavirus has spread to over 118 countries with over 100,000 positive COVID-19 cases.
Compare the urgency to derail HCQ with the stand of the WHO towards China, when countries wanted to restrict travel to and from China. In fact Dr Tedros, vehemently opposed the stand of nations restricting travel to and from China. He said on January 30, 2020, “If anyone is thinking about taking measures, it’s going to be wrong. And WHO doesn’t recommend, and actually opposes, any restrictions for travel and trade or other measures against China.”
Yet on all such important concerns that are the core reasons behind the spread of the coronavirus pandemic globally, WHO did not find the urgency to deal with the concerns quickly and assertively. It acted as a doormat of China. It is as though, China bullied them or bought them into submission of China’s mandate of dealing with the virus, as it was exposed in Associated Press investigative report recently.
Surprisingly on the HCQ, the WHO took three quick days and decided to temporarily drop the HCQ from its global study for COVID-19 treatments.
It is important to ask the Expert Group the reasons behind the first decision to drop and the rethink behind decision to resume the HCQ arm of the Solidarity Trial.
The first decision came post the release of report in The Lancet, the second is also based on an investigative report in The Guardian that questioned the credibility of Surgisphere – US firm that authored and researched the report that stated that people taking HCQ were at a higher risk of death and heart-related problems than those who were not taking HCQ.
It leads me to question the competency of the Expert Group of the WHO and the competency of the Director General, Dr Tedros who appointed the Expert Group.
It also leads me to question whether the quick reaction to HCQ was because US and India were both focusing on HCQ, while China and some other pharmaceutical companies funding the WHO were focussed on a new vaccine and Remdesivir.
The US president was bullish on HCQ. He even spoke of taking HCQ himself as a prophylactic. US ordered 29 million doses of HCQ from India. India was at the Centre of the HCQ manufacturing not China and not the Gates Foundation.
In fact ICMR study on HCQ completely contradicted the study published in The Lancet by Surgisphere. ICMR recommended HCQ but maintained that it must be administered under Doctor’s supervision and previous health concerns needed to be understood before a Doctor administered HCQ.
The WHO changed its stance on HCQ under its often used garb of diplomacy stating that the dropping of HCQ was only temporary.
Dr Tedros stated, “The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial decided to implement a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm of the trial, because of concerns raised about the safety of the drug. This decision was taken as a precaution while the safety data were reviewed.”
The Guardian investigative report shockingly revealed the following:
- A search of publicly available material suggests several of Surgisphere’s employees have little or no data or scientific background. An employee listed as a science editor appears to be a science fiction author and fantasy artist. Another employee listed as a marketing executive is an adult model and events hostess.
- The company’s LinkedIn page has fewer than 100 followers and last week listed just six employees. This was changed to three employees as of Wednesday.
- While Surgisphere claims to run one of the largest and fastest hospital databases in the world, it has almost no online presence. Its Twitter handle has fewer than 170 followers, with no posts between October 2017 and March 2020.
- Until Monday, the “get in touch” link on Surgisphere’s homepage redirected to a WordPress template for a cryptocurrency website, raising questions about how hospitals could easily contact the company to join its database.
- Desai has been named in three medical malpractice suits, unrelated to the Surgisphere database. In an interview with the Scientist, Desai previously described the allegations as “unfounded”.
- In 2008, Desai launched a crowdfunding campaign on the website Indiegogo promoting a wearable “next generation human augmentation device that can help you achieve what you never thought was possible”. The device never came to fruition.
- Desai’s Wikipedia page has been deleted following questions about Surgisphere and his history, first raised in 2010.
It leads us to question the credibility of the WHO. It leads us to question the credibility of Dr Tedros.
It is clearly evident from this flip-flop of the WHO under its diplomatic parlance that the WHO ate Crow on HCQ, while Dr Tedros bats for China.