In a move that is sure to trigger widespread discussion concerning the independence, objectivity and wisdom of granting authority to the WHO to manage global infectious diseases responses, the monkeypox outbreak has been declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (PHEIC) by the World Health Organization.
The declaration was made unilaterally, in direct contradiction of independent review panel advice, by WHO director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. Tedros made the declaration despite a lack of consensus among members of the WHO’s emergency committee on the monkeypox outbreak, and in so doing overruled his own review panel, who had voted 9 against, 6 for declaring the PHEIC.
Tedros asserted that this committee of experts (who met on Thursday) was unable to reach a consensus, so it fell on him to decide whether to trigger the highest alert possible. Any objective outside observer would conclude that the committee failed to endorse moving to a PHEIC.
When a similar meeting was previously held on June 23, 2022, the committee resolved by consensus to advise the WHO Director-General that at this stage the outbreak should be determined to not constitute a PHEIC.
An official United Nations article summarizing this can be found here. When the group met in June, the breakdown was 11 against and three for. It is not clear what has changed in the intervening four weeks to justify the change in Tedros’ position, although comments from internet pundits raise concerns that the unilateral action was taken in response to pressure from special interest advocacy groups.
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There has also been a sudden burst of coordinated social media postings raising concerns regarding Monkeypox risks to children, which raises the question “If Monkeypox is a sexually transmitted disease, why are kids getting it?”
On Friday, the U.S. confirmed the first two cases of monkeypox in children, Centers for Disease Control Prevention and Control (CDC) Director Rochelle Walensky said Friday. The CDC has said children, especially those under 8 years old, are among those at “especially increased risk” for severe monkeypox disease.
At a virtual event with the Washington Post on Friday focused on new coronavirus variants, Walensky stated that:
Clearly, the WHO committee did not reach the desired decision to declare a PHEIC, and so for some extraordinary reason Tedros stepped in.
Though the committee does not formally vote, a survey of the members revealed that nine thought a PHEIC should not be declared and six supported a declaration. “Nine and six is very, very close,” Tedros said in a news conference called to announce the decision. “Since the role of the committee is to advise, I then had to act as a tie-breaker.”
Tedros made the declaration despite a lack of consensus among members of the WHO’s emergency committee on the monkeypox outbreak. It’s the first time a leader of a UN health agency has made such a decision unilaterally.
In the event of a deadly disease outbreak, a group of World Health Organization (WHO) experts can declare a “public health emergency of international concern,” or PHEIC, to trigger global action. Since the procedures to declare a PHEIC were implemented in 2005, the WHO has only done so six times. The last time the WHO declared an international emergency was in early 2020, for Covid-19.
The designation of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern is the WHO’s highest alert level. It is based on international health regulations established in 2005, to define countries’ rights and obligations in handling cross-border public health occurrences.
The WHO defines a PHEIC as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”
The WHO further explains how this definition implies a situation that is serious, sudden, unusual or unexpected; carries implications for public health beyond an affected country’s border and may require immediate international action.
Tedros’ statements clearly demonstrate that he unilaterally substituted his own opinions for those of the convened panel, raising questions of his objectivity, commitment to process and protocol, and whether he has been unduly influenced by external agents:
As the outbreak continues to grow, epidemiologists are split as to whether the WHO’s decision was correct. The meeting was the second time the emergency committee convened, after a meeting on June 23 when it decided the outbreak had not met that threshold.
Dr. Jimmy Whitworth, a professor of international public health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.
The PHEIC designation comes from the International Health Regulations (IHR) created in 2005, and it represents an international “agreement” to help the prevent and respond to public health risks that have the potential to spread around the globe.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (US CDC) describes the IHR regulations as “a legally binding agreement of 196 countries to build the capability to detect and report potential public health emergencies worldwide. IHR require that all countries have the ability to detect, assess, report, and respond to public health events.”
These are the same IHR which the Biden administration sought to further strengthen, but the attempt to implement proposed modifications were placed on hold after an international, multi-country outcry concerning loss of national autonomy. The unilateral actions of Tedros in this current situation clearly demonstrate that these concerns were warranted.
Despite the statement by the US CDC, the WHO IHR are not a treaty which has been endorsed by the US Senate, and the assertion that these are legally binding has been challenged.
In an article supportive of the declaration, Vox news provided a summary of the potential financial beneficiaries of this declaration; that being vaccine manufacturers and the holding companies who have invested in them.
Please see previous coverage of this issue in the following substack articles, which clearly demonstrate the concerted effort to weaponize fear by a variety of stakeholders including corporate media and Bill and Melinda Gates affiliated organizations.
Truth versus Fearporn.
May 31, 2022. There has been a significant development.
Robert W Malone is an inventor of mRNA & DNA vaccines, RNA as a drug. He is a scientist, physician, writer, podcaster, commentator and advocate. This article was originally published on Substack.