As the WHO director is participating to the World Economic Forum, I hear claims that the WHO is a puppet of economic interests. This is correct. And it's not a conspiracy theory, there are public documents proving it. (thread)

In 2005, 194 countries updated the binding International Health Regulations (IHR) with the clause that unless the WHO recommends travel restrictions, other countries are supposed to refrain from imposing travel bans or trade restrictions on nations grappling with outbreaks

That’s not at all what you would expect from a regulation that is supposed to protect the world from pandemics. Travel restrictions are a necessary tool to do so. But perhaps the regulations weren’t written to protect the health of the human population, but to protect trade.

On the WHO’s website, the FAQs regarding IHR 2005 say: > One of the objectives of the IHR (2005) is to minimize unnecessary restrictions to travel and trade by specifying, in real-time, the appropriate public health measures for the assessed risk.

Does this look like a regulation written to protect the health of the world population or to protect international trade?

This document (link https://www.milbank.org/wp-content/files/documents/The_Governing_Framework_for_GlobalHealth_Security.pdf) provides some background: I have some form of déjà vu. The regulation didn’t solve the original problem but increased our vulnerability to it. That’s the kind of regulations that a virus would hope for.

The larger problem: It has all been written black and white for 17 years. And we didn't do anything about it.

Countries binding themselves to not close borders with regions where a contagious outbreak is spreading without the authorization of a centralized organization is a disaster waiting to happen.

The larger problem is that no one is talking about the root causes of this epidemic: systems which are designed to be slow to react, to avoid any false positive with the consequence of making us vulnerable to deadly false negatives.

We cannot have regulations designed to fail. We need regulations designed to resist incompetence and corruption.

Will we use this brief time of awakeness after a crisis to get rid of the institutions that failed us and replace them with regulations which can guarantee that the next global crisis will be prevented? I do not know, but the survival of who and what we love depends on it.