Huge amount of respect for Helen Clark and the work she’s done on the report into the WHO’s handling of Covid, but I’m not sure it’s told us much we didn’t already know.
The WHO stuffed this up. This was the modern day test of the outfit, a real life global pandemic, and it completely blew it and completely undermined trust.
Helen Clark’s report in part blames the WHO for letting this get out of hand by not declaring Covid a pandemic sooner – as in, it should have warned the world just how bad it was sooner.
It also blames China, because it was slow with handing over information.
The fact is the WHO doesn’t work and actually can’t. It has no power to force countries to do things, and because it runs on money pledged by individual countries, it has a conflict of interest.
I mean, can anyone say the WHO has been hard enough on China? From the start it has failed to call China out adequate for China’s stonewalling and questionable honesty, and even as recently as the start of this year, WHO allowed China to essentially interfere in its report into the origins of Covid.
How can we trust an organisation that in one breath declared a health emergency and in the next breath told countries to keep their borders open? Especially when the suspicion is that that was what China wanted?
As long as the WHO is run like this, none of us can actually trust it to be honest.
And even now, it’s reminding us how ineffectual it is with the Covax vaccine distribution. Covax is supposed to be a way of distributing vaccines to low income countries that need it most, but the truth is its high income countries, including New Zealand, that buying up the world’s vaccine stocks and jabbing our own people first.
Helen Clark has a bunch of recommendations to improve the WHO, including it having its own independent funding so it’s not reliant on countries that will make demands.
I think we've all been around long enough to know the chances of improvement are slim.
So probably, I’m sorry to say, the WHO has for many of us probably done its dash. Frankly, it’s a waste of our time and our money.