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June 11, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Lost in the furor over the World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) quickly-retracted admission that asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 is “very rare” was the international body’s assessment that the overall situation was “worsening” from a global standpoint.
“Although the situation in Europe is improving, globally it is worsening,” said Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO’s director-general, in the June 8 media briefing. More than 100,000 cases have been reported on nine of the past 10 days. Yesterday, more than 136,000 cases were reported, the most in a single day so far.”
“Almost 75 percent of yesterday’s cases come from 10 countries, mostly in the Americas and South Asia,” he explained. “Most countries in the African region are still experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, with some reporting cases in new geographic areas, although most countries in the region have less than 1,000 cases. We also see increasing numbers of cases in parts of Eastern Europe and central Asia.”
With almost 7M #COVID19 cases & 400K deaths globally, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal. We urge active:
-surveillance to ensure the virus does not rebound
-finding, isolating, testing & caring for every case
-tracing & quarantining every contact https://t.co/B7po1dAN3F
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) June 8, 2020
Calling complacency the biggest threat, Ghebreyesus said the WHO counsels “surveillance to ensure the virus does not rebound, especially as mass gatherings of all kinds are starting to resume in some countries,” along with social distancing, frequent hand-washing, and masks in public gatherings.
As for public policy, the director-general’s latest statement did not mention lockdowns of “non-essential” public activity, but rather “encourage(s) countries to strengthen the fundamental public health measures that remain the basis of the response: find, isolate, test and care for every case, and trace and quarantine every contact.”
Notably, WHO does not advise against organizing or attending the recent wave of Black Lives Matter protests in the United States and around the world, despite the public health establishment previously condemning nearly all other forms of public gatherings. Instead, Ghebreyesus merely “encourage(s) all those protesting around the world to do so safely.”
Michael Ryan, chief executive director of WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, went further, arguing that even though “many, many countries (are) experiencing very severe epidemics,” that doesn’t mean people should skip BLM protests. “Someone who has just been at a mass gathering doesn't necessarily meet the definition of a contact,” meaning someone who spent prolonged time with a confirmed COVID-19 carrier.
The WHO officials’ willingness to accommodate mass gatherings for Black Lives Matter, after several weeks of Americans being legally forbidden from gatherings of 10 or more people for most purposes (even religious worship), echoes a statement recently signed by more than 1,200 “public health experts” that excused the potential public health risks of these gatherings on the grounds that “white supremacy is a lethal public health issue.”
The apparent double-standard is only the latest question as to the WHO’s credibility. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, also said Monday that it seemed to be “very rare” for individuals without symptoms to spread COVID-19, but in response to public outcry she “clarified” the next day that the true rate of asymptomatic spread remains unknown.
Critics have also faulted the WHO for opposing bans on travel from China that could have limited the virus’s reach, and for legitimizing the Chinese government’s initial false claims about the virus, among other offenses. Last month, the Trump administration terminated the WHO’s relationship with, and funding from, the United States.
As of June 11, the world is estimated to have seen more than 7.5 million COVID-19 cases, with more than 421,000 deaths and 3.8 million recoveries. An estimated 40 percent of those deaths across the United States, and an equal or higher share among more than a dozen other countries, have come from nursing homes.
In the United States, the lockdowns, which were based in large part on the theory of asymptomatic spread, have led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of jobs, more than 33 million Americans filing for unemployment, fears that tens of thousands of small businesses will never reopen, and a range of other physical and mental health woes, due to everything from delayed medical procedures to social isolation to anxiety over being unable to work. Fortunately, various states lifting or softening their lockdowns last month led to the U.S. Labor Department announcing Friday that a record 2.5 million jobs were restored in May.