The World Health Organisation has lied to the world countless times but it now asks us to have faith in its objectivity.
Its leader Tedros Adhanom has lost any privilege of trust after heaping praise on China in the early days of the coronavirus crisis even though the communist superpower jailed whistle-blowers, deployed widespread censoring of social media and told the world the virus could not be transmitted from human-to-human.
The delays this misinformation caused killed hundreds and thousands of people, an indisputable fact that is backed by research which was commissioned by Bill Gates himself – the WHO’s chief private donor.
It is disgraceful that Adhanom can be involved in investigating his own actions in any capacity given what he has to lose and given the blatant propaganda videos his team has produced about how well he personally handled the response.
WHO staff edited inspirational music over his speeches to the world all while virus steadily killed victim after victim.
It would be poor timing to produce such self-promotional videos years after the crisis had ended, let alone smack bang in the middle of the carnage.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attempted to sell the World Health Assembly resolution as a victory for truth, but in reality, it has all the hallmarks of a coverup of one of the biggest scandals in modern history.
Perhaps Mr Morrison’s earlier strong words condemning China and calling for a specific probe into Wuhan labs were cautioned by intelligence operatives who sense the ramifications of growing diplomatic unease.
Perhaps he was swayed by the banal utterances of Labor politicians such as Anthony Albanese who want Australians not to ask China tough questions so that trade can continue unimpeded.
Perhaps he understands that China’s tentacles have so efficiently entangled themselves in international bodies that this is simply the best outcome that could be achieved.
Whatever the reason, he was wrong.
It was a disastrous outcome that allowed Chinese President Xi Jinping to grandstand on the world stage as he announced a $2 billion aid package and re-positioned himself and his country as a caring world leader.
“We must always put the people first, for nothing in the world is more precious than people’s lives,” Dictator Xi said to a quiet applause.
“We need to deploy medical expertise and critical supplies to places where they are needed the most.
“China calls on the international community to increase political and financial support for WHO so as to mobilize resources worldwide to defeat the virus.”
President Xi walked away from the WHA with the biggest PR bump he could have dreamed of.
This so-called independent inquiry will clear China and the WHO of all wrong-doing and both will laud it over the world as evidence Australians and Americans were being xenophobic in our distrust.
The correct response came from US President Donald Trump who unleashed hell on Adhanom in a five-page letter which eloquently listed all erroneous statements the WHO had made and threatened to permanently withdraw funding unless changes were made.
Among the more egregious errors the WHO made was the decision to not declare a global health emergency on January 22 at a time the virus was already in more than 80 different countries.
And when it finally declared the international alert on January 30 the virus had now spread to 114 countries and killed 4000 people. That we know of.
The reason for the delay?
As Sky News Australia exclusively reported at the time, there were “divergent” views on January 22 with some experts at the Geneva meeting calling for the alert to be issued and others listening to China’s assurances the virus could not be transmitted human-to-human.
The WHO admitted the mistake to this journalist in writing via emails after a lengthy and evasive back and forward.
So much for transparency.
And even worse, on January 30, when the WHO did finally issue that declaration, it told countries not to ban travel to China.
This was a few days after Adhanom met in person with Xi Jinping who, according to multiple media reports, told the WHO leader not to close off lucrative trade and tourism pathways by advocating for travel bans.
Adhanom complied with the request of the man who campaigned for his election to the position of WHO General Manager, successfully knocking the British candidate out of the race.
Australia banned travel anyway and, as Donald Trump rightly pointed out in his letter, so did his administration.
It should be clear to any objective eye that major mistakes were made early on but this is not the most irksome aspect of the crisis.
Mistakes happen but It is the sheer arrogance in the way the WHO issued statements praising a country which was clearly lying.
We must all carefully analyse any inquiry findings to ensure both parties do not manage to rewrite history as the world’s saviors.