Corruption at the WHO. Trump Regime COVID-19 Blame Game Diverts Attention from Its Own Failings

Trump is the latest in a long line of US leaders and other key officials who time and again blame others for their own harmful actions and failings.

On Tuesday, Trump directed his blame game at the World Health Organization (WHO), saying the following:

“Today I’m instructing my administration to halt funding of the World Health Organization while a review is conducted to assess the World Health Organization’s role in severely mismanaging and covering up the spread of the coronavirus.”

“The reality is the WHO failed to obtain, vet and share information in a timely fashion.”

“The WHO failed in its basic duty and must be held accountable.”

The WHO states that its main objective is ensuring “the attainment by all peoples of the highest possible level of health.”

Its guidelines state that commercial enterprises that work with the organization must adhere to its policies — including the ethical promotion of medicinal drugs, adding:

“In establishing such relationships, it should be borne in mind that WHO’s activities affect the commercial sector in broader ways, through for example, its public health guidance, its recommendations on regulatory standards, or other work that might influence product costs, market demand, or profitability of specific goods and services.”

Does the relationship between the WHO and Big Pharma operate this way?

Time and again, various drug companies violated stated WHO guidelines, regarding the promotion and safety of their products in deference to their bottom line priorities.

Big Pharma companies contribute financially to the WHO, compromising the organization’s guidelines that state:

“Funds may not be sought or accepted from enterprises that have a direct commercial interest in the outcome of the project toward which they would be contributing, unless approved in conformity with the provisions on clinical trials or product development…”

By accepting Big Pharma financial contributions, the WHO compromised its professed independence.

It’s funded by the UN that, in turn, is funded by its member states. Its experts have ties to profit-making organizations and nation-states.

Initially the WHO only was supposed to receive public funding. It now gets it from public and private sources.

Do its operations mainly serve its donors’ interests over its stated mission? Is its credibility unacceptably compromised?

The Lancet medical journal denounced what it called “the open secret of…corruption in global health” — equating it to a disease.

Its forms include “high-level national, or…multinational bribery, extortion, theft, embezzlement, nepotism, and undue influence” between the public and private sectors.

Healthcare is public and/or private business like operations involving other products and services.

According to Research and Markets.com, the 2018 dollar volume of global healthcare was around $8.5 trillion.

Since 2014, the market has been growing at a 7.3% compound annual rate.

Going forward, it’s projected to increase at 8.9% annually to a near-$12 trillion global market by 2022.

In 2019, US national healthcare expenditures comprised about 18% of GDP — the highest percentage for developed countries, the figure expected to be 20% by 2027 (around $6 trillion).

In 2000, US spending on healthcare was 13.3% of GDP, in 1990 12.1%, in 1980 8.9%, in 1970 6.9%, in 1960 5%.

Increased percentages are attributed to higher healthcare inflation than in other segments of the US economy, as well as advanced technologies costing more, including high-cost drugs.

Another key factor is lack of universal healthcare. The US is the only developed country without it in some form. Government purchasing power constrains rising costs

Economist Uwe Reinhardt once explained why healthcare costs in the US are the world’s highest, saying: “It’s the prices, stupid.”

Healthcare costs in the US are double or more their amount in other developed countries. The industry in cahoots with government wants things kept this way at the expense of affordability and state-sponsored universal coverage.

On Tuesday, Trump blamed the WHO for his own dismissiveness toward COVID-19 outbreaks for weeks and his regime’s lack of preparedness to deal with them — despite foreknowledge of the threat at least since early 2017, discussed in an earlier article.

First and foremost, accountability lies with him, hardliners surrounding him, and their congressional counterparts.

He falsely calls COVID-19 the “Wuhan virus,” despite no evidence linking its origin to China.

Most likely it originated in the US last year, unreported at the time. Claims about outbreaks possibly reaching a peak in US cities may be way overblown.

According to Chinese coronavirus expert Dr. Zhang Wenhong and other scientific experts in the country, a second more widespread wave of outbreaks may follow the initial one.

Zhang believes it’s gradually emerging, adding:

“Although China has made some achievements in the earlier stages, there is an urgent  need to remain prudent and determined to fight the pandemic for an extended time.”

He’s head of infectious diseases at Shanghai’s Huashan Hospital. He accused the US and Europe of failing to institute effective controls, the situation much worse in less developed or undeveloped countries with limited resources for public health.

Zhang believes COVID-19 outbreaks won’t end this year, saying they’ll continue until or into next year.

Once initial outbreaks are largely contained in a few months, a second international wave will follow, he said.

In early April, Chinese health authorities said controlling outbreaks is complicated. They’re braced for a longer-term struggle.

Zhang added the following warning:

Once US and other Western outbreaks are largely “under initial control, it is expected that global aviation will be gradually opened up again.”

“But the spread has already begun in India, Africa and South America, where the rise of new cases has been the fastest, posing great risks to the world” — compounded by a second wave he sees coming in China.

Its challenge is to begin reopening the economy with great care not to let further outbreaks spin out of control.

Asymptomatic domestic and imported cases are a big problem, and not just in China. These infected individuals can spread contagion to others unwittingly.

Dem Senators Mark Warner and Richard Blumenthal, along with Dem Rep. Anna Eshoo accused the Trump regime of lacking transparency and compromising privacy protections in its handling of COVID-19 outbreaks.

On Tuesday, GOP senators began probing the origins and global response to COVID-19 outbreaks in what appears to be an attempt to shift blame for initial Trump regime inaction and denial, along with its current failures, onto others — mainly China, typical of how the US operates.

China denied Trump regime accusations of a cover-up. GOP Senators Ron Johnson, Rick Scott, and others accused the WHO of “fail(ing) and delay(ing) (its) response to the coronavirus.”

On Tuesday, Trump again blamed China for what’s going on, threatening “consequences.”

According to US Joint Chiefs chairman General Mark Milley, claims that COVID-19 originated in a Chinese lab are “inconclusive,” adding:

“We’ve had a lot of intelligence take a hard look at that,” nothing “certain” determined.

Delay, failure, lack of preparedness, and inaction begins at home.

A US self-examination should be conducted to lay blame where it largely belongs.

With advance knowledge of the threat that’s now reality, the Trump regime slept — blaming others for its own failings.

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Award-winning author Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. He is a Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG)

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.


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Articles by: Stephen Lendman

About the author:

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] His new book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III." http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

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