Peace for health, health for peace? Tedros kicks off World Health Assembly with 30min speech

Through the course of his remarks, Dr. Tedros quoted John Lennon, urged a 70% vaccination rate, and called on countries to 'maintain surveillance'.

Peace for health, health for peace? Tedros kicks off World Health Assembly with 30min speech
Johanna Geron, Pool Photo via AP
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On Sunday, May 22nd, Director General for the World Health Organization (WHO) gave a lengthy speech in a session titled “High-level Welcome.”

The Welcome introduced Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus who thanked governments for being at the centre of the COVID-19 response, “giving reassuring advice in the face of uncertainty; counteracting misinformation and disinformation; to access vaccines and other tools.”

He asked, “where do we stand?” before sharing that all cause mortality surpassed COVID deaths by more than double:

Which isn’t surprising, given that the collateral damage of lockdowns has been widely recognized as early as the fall of 2020.

He emphasized that COVID is not over anywhere until it’s over everywhere.

Is he alluding to Shanghai’s COVID Zero policy – the same strategy that certain Canadian provinces haphazardly deployed which likely resulted in a good chunk of that excess mortality Tedros spoke about?

On vaccination, Tedros spread questionable science asserting that “more transmission means more deaths, especially in unvaccinated and more risk of a new variant emerging.” He says that “we [WHO] must support all countries to achieve 70 per cent vaccination coverage.”

He continues, saying that “in all [countries] we see vaccine hesitancy driven by misinformation and disinformation.”

Further to this, Tedros called “on all countries to maintain surveillance and sequencing. We call on all countries to be prepared to introduce and adjust public health and social measures as necessary and we call on all countries to restore essential services as rapidly as possible.”

Is that doublespeak? Be prepared to shut it down, but restore essential services as rapidly as possible.

“The pandemic is not the only crisis in our world. We face a formidable convergence of diseases, drought, famine and war fuelled by climate change, inequity and geopolitical rivalry.”

Tedro acknowledged that he had been nominated (and now re-elected) for a second term as Director General of the World Health Assembly then oddly goes into one of his firsthand experiences as Director General five years ago when he visited a war zone in Yemen. Tedros notes that the conflict still persists today.

He uses this to prop up more vaccine promotion — asserting that war leaves children at risk of vaccine preventable diseases.

Appearing to become emotional, Tedros continued: “I’m a child of war. The fear, the pain, the loss, these things have stayed with me throughout my life.” Later he reiterated the sentiment, saying “not only was I a child of war, but [war is] following me throughout.”

These are the people being put in charge of global coordination and orchestration of health, people preaching peace — people who are followed by war.

Or perhaps it’s vice versa.

Getting back to vaccines as a necessity of war, Tedros continues that “war creates the conditions for disease to spread. War, hunger, diseases are old friends. Where war goes, hungry and diseases follow shortly behind.”

In between countless war references, Tedros expresses his deep concern around the impact that the war in Ukraine is having on its “gains” toward universal health care.

“Ultimately,” he says, “the medicine that is most needed is the one that WHO cannot deliver is peace,” followed by references to days of tranquility to vaccinate children amid conflict and noting that attainment of peace and security is dependent on the fullest co-operation of individuals and states.

Apparently, “peace is a pre-requisite for health.”

Addressing the attendees, Tedros wrapped up his thirty minute speech by informing everyone that they “have a full agenda this week.” He then quoted John Lennon before giving out Global Health Leaders Awards.

All of this comes as the United Nations discussed proposed changes to the International Health Regulations and the WHO prepares a new Pandemic Treaty.

Say no to the Pandemic Treaty here!

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