Dr. Tedros Adhanom can't be a scapegoat (የመባ ፍየል) for Trump's inept presidency
By Esayas Hailemariam
Tigrai Online April 10, 2020
Spearheaded by Taiwanese ideologues and backed by Fox News' polemics https://bit.ly/34l0GHb, there's a trending petition demanding resignation of Dr.Tedros Adhanom, Director General of the World Health Organization.
The politically-charged petition accuses the Director of "complicity" in China's "cover-up" and "underreporting" of COVID-19 cases. The petition also alleges WHO's "failure to alert" Taiwan of the looming Coronavirus infection.
There are credible sources that China reported the Coronavirus infection to WHO as early as December 31, 2019, and the Director followed established protocols in addressing the pandemic. The accusations against the Director are meritless and don't hold water.
TWO underlying reasons prompted the onslaught of attacks against the Director General.
(1) PERSONA NON GRATA (Taiwan: the uninvited guest and its burning desire of becoming a Uited Nations member):
- Taiwan (People's Republic of China) is NOT recognized by the United Nations as a sovereign nation (Only 14 out of the 193 UN member states recognize Taiwan, yet 'Taipei' still maintains informal diplomatic relations with 15 small countries.). Since the island isn't a sovereign country its chance of participation in U.N. and its subsidiaries, including WHO, is very slim.
- For many years, Taiwan's pursuit of gaining ground in the U.N. hasn't been left unchallenged; the Island's heightened interest in international matters always endures fierce opposition from China, which claims Taiwan as its province, effectively precluding the latter from policy-setting and other activities within the U.N. and its subsidiaries like the W.H.O.
- Taiwan has tried hard to demonstrate its international presence; as such, its current quest to participate in WHO-led Coronavirus prevention activity is the manifestation of that urgency.
- In the past, Taiwan attempted to attend at least 21 WHO working panels and technical activities [in accordance with the 2005 China-WHO-Taiwan Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU")]. WHO rejected most of them, but allowed the island to participate in 8 panels and technical activities. shorturl.at,oMUZ2 . Taiwan has never been in good terms with the WHO and its parent organization UN.
- Disgruntled Taiwan asserts that it was never alerted of the Coronavirus pandemic, so the Director's alleged "cover-up of China" continued to stir unfounded fear in Taiwan. In reality, the Director General declared Coronavirus "a global pandemic" timely, in accordance with the 2005 W.H.O. IHR (International Health Regulations) procedures and protocols.
- Now, Taiwan is striking hard while the iron is hot; the 20 plus million Taiwanese are busy exploiting the Coronavirus crisis by demanding removal of the WHO Director General, in effect sending a message to the United Nations that the island province is a sovereign country worthy of minding its own business without China's blessing. The issue is far beyond the Director, and WHO's mandate.
- Taiwan has one of the lowest Coronavirus infection rates worldwide; if the WHO or its Director failed it (regardless of its advanced healthcare system and better response to pandemic), the nation would've been hard it.Taiwan is an island of 24 million people (nearly equal to Australia's population.). Both countries are islands. Even though Taiwan was one of the earliest victims of Coronavirus (while also closely located to China - the epicenter of the pandemic), it's also the least infected: total number of confirmed cases just under 400 with only five deaths (as of April 8, 2020). Australia on the other hand reported 5000 confirmed COVID-19 cases. There's no objective finding that Taiwan was grossly disadvantaged by WHO's action or inaction.
- Several sources (including WHO's website and the Director's social media accounts) clearly indicate that WHO advised China and Taiwan of the pandemic properly. What exploded now is Taiwan's urge to a full-scale participation in the WHO-led Coronavirus prevention scheme; but the country's intricate relationship with China and its unsettled UN membership status didn't allow that to happen. Most importantly, the parent organization, U.N, never considered Taiwan a sovereign nation.
(2) TRUMP'S ("45th") INEPT PRESIDENCY:
Most world leaders are more than politically conscious. For example, Germany's Angela Merkel is a scientist by trade- holds a Ph.D. in quantum physics. Ireland's prime minister Leo Varadkar is a physician, and he is now back in hospital treating Coronavirus patients. shorturl.at/ntGNO
- As much as I love this country I wish we had a bright leader. Our 45th isn't a typical leader with a shining résumé/cv and solid public service experience: he's just a television personality, and science is beyond his ken.
- The 45th was aware of the COVID-19 outbreak as early as December 19, 2019, the same time South Koreans learned about the pandemic. While South Korea took drastic measures and contained the COVID-19 outbreak, 45th responded by promising that it would go away by itself in "April," and blaming China, the media and Obama. shorturl.at/qvHS4.
- Our 45th thought Coronavirus would "vanish miraculously...when warmer Spring weather arrives." The truth of the matter is that the virus killed 15,000 Americans: three times the number of Americans killed during the September 11 attack.
- 45th became an overnight "doctor" and started prescribing unproven cure 'Chloroquine'. Not only is that he isn't qualified to recommend medications, his medical adviser, Fauci, confirmed that there is no scientific evidence to confirm the claim.
- Meanwhile, the 45th is barking up the wrong tree: suggesting defunding WHO unless the Director General resigns, in a desperate bid to distract attention. What makes the 45th more awkward is that on February 24, 2020 he tweeted praising the World Health Organization: "CDC & the World Health have been working very hard and very smart." After tens of thousands of Americans had died, he retracted his praise. Americans know who failed them, and the 45th is furious about it.
The world can't afford to lose Dr. Tedros!
The Director's solid track record in public health, along with his seasoned diplomatic experience and impeccable character has won the hearts and minds of millions. He's the right person at the right time.
REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD STAND BEHIND THE DIRECTOR GENERAL:
- The ongoing petition and pressure has nothing to do with the Director General's "handling of the Coronavirus" pandemic. There's no objective finding that indicates the Director failed to do his job;
- The world is in dire-situation due to the pandemic. At this critical juncture, political gamesmanship shouldn't undermine W.H.O's efforts;
- 45th is desperately trying to find a scapegoat to divert the public outcry as result of his indifference in handling the Coronavirus crisis;
- Taiwan, a country that's not even a member of the United Nations cannot and shouldn't be allowed to obstruct WHO's works and manipulate the ongoing global health crisis for political advantage. Only U.N. member states can decide how WHO should conduct its business.
- The underlying controversy is the age-old China-Taiwan political muddle, and now 45th's failure to take proactive measures to protect America.
Dr.Tedros can't be a scapegoat!
Please sign these counter-petitions in support of the Director General.
(1) Petition by Ashenafi (Alexandria, VA): Click here to sign
(2) Petition by Moses (Lusaka, Zambia): https://bit.ly/39Wphmy
(3) Petition by Kenaw (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia): https://bit.ly/2RnrBg8
Feel free to correct me for any factual inaccuracies. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.