Don’t Kill the WHO, but Make Its Reporting and Fact-finding Role Mandatory

China first reported the coronavirus  outbreak to WHO on 31Dec2019. Yet, first WHO mission to China began Feb16th. An earlier mission would have provided timely information & action by int. community? Early-warning & fact-finding critical here as in conflict zones

According to a New York Times report, China held back on allowing a WHO mission. Why? The reasons are explored in the article: Some have blamed it on the political system’s usual secretiveness and lack of transparency, negligence, complacency, scientific competition (desire among Chinese scientists to get the first publications on the new virus out),

In the meantime, Trump threatens further funding cut to WHO which was US$123 million for fiscal year 2020. At the White House briefing on 8 April, 2020, he said: The United States is “going to put a very powerful hold” on its funding of the WHO, adding “They called it wrong. They missed the call…They seem to be very China-centric…We have to look into that.”

Instead of cutting funding and fatally emasculating the WHO, the US and other nations should push for the UN Security Council to make it mandatory for states to report & allow WHO fact-finding within days of a major disease outbreak. It should treat failure by a state to report outbreaks promptly & allow WHO fact-finding missions equivalent of aggression

Terrorism reporting is now mandatory. The United Nations Security Council Counter-Terrorism Committee (CTC) can be a model, but shorter & incident-based reporting period for disease necessary.


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