In defence of the WHO boss Tedros Adhanom

There’s an increasing call of resignation against Dr Tedros Adhanom, the Director General of the World Health Organization (WHO) on the ground that he covered up or misled the world about the Covid19 pandemic in China. Some of the critics even suggest that he should be indictment for the crime he committed against humanity by the International Criminal Court in the Hague. His opponents argue had he had informed the world about the intensity of the pandemic on time, countries could prepare themselves better to contain the spread of the virus.

No sane mind would concur such filthy and futile argument shrouded. First, there is no way Dr Tedros gets information by himself unless told by the designated government officials in China or in any other country. He doesn’t have his own spies to verify the information he gets from governments. He makes opinions and decisions based on the information he gets from governments. He is not a member or privy to the Chinese communist party to know the exact information on the ground. If some countries feel that investigation is needed, it should be primarily on the Chinese government handling of the pandemic, not Dr Tedros. But if the Chinese government claims that they have informed the WHO, and it was Dr Tedros who misled the world, then investigation is due. The primary answerable to the various questions raised on Covid19 is China, not Dr Tedros or WHO.  However, to demand an independent investigation is one thing, to call for resignation of the Director General is another.

Secondly, each country has its own informants or spies in China, Dr Tedros doesn’t. So why did these spies fail to inform their respective governments about the seriousness of the pandemic in the first place? And why didn’t these governments challenge WHO when the first news of the pandemic was broken had they had a tangible information about the disease? Why now?

Dr Tedros had his own follies in the past. When he was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia, he defended a regime that committed heinous human rights violations, tantamount to crimes against humanity on the people of Ethiopia. Based on the nature of the then TPLF/EPRDF government which sanctioned state-terrorism as an effective means of ruling, he could have partaken with some of the decisions that cost the lives of many Ethiopians. It should be clear for everyone that his duty at the WTO shouldn’t absolve him from the supposedly past crimes, and  should face the almighty power of justice one day.  However, these past follies should not be a base for present accusations forwarded against him. If anything, he should only be evaluated by his current activities in the WHO.  

To me and to some non-partisan observers Dr Tedros is one of the best leaders the WHO has seen in the past. He has led the Organization effectively in the fight against Ebola epidemic in Africa; He has also succeeded to persuade world leaders and the international community to give extra attention to contain the spread of Covid19. His ability to handle questions and his skills to communicate with the world during press-conferences has made him one of the most influential persons in today’s world.

I strongly argue that to demand Dr Tedros’ resignation in the middle of the game would only exacerbate the problem at hand. If our interest is to fight against Covid19 genuinely, we should stand with Dr Tedros, or shut up and let him do his job.  

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