David Leyonhjelm guest post. Has the WHO reached its use by date?

The World Health Organisation has been criticised a lot lately. There have been plenty of reasons for that, including its farcical initial response to Covid and its origins. But criticism of the WHO did not begin with Covid – it has been growing for some years now. Indeed, many are now asking whether the organisation has reached its use-by date.

When the WHO was first established, in 1948, preventable diseases were common with health care often unavailable. Its programs focused on developing countries, with sanitation and vaccination as major priorities. The eradication of smallpox and the near eradication of measles, rubella and polio have been major successes.

Many of its current campaigns are similar: improving childbirth outcomes in poor societies, vaccination campaigns to control cholera, Ebola and yellow fever, and developing an effective vaccine against malaria among them. But it has also extended its remit far beyond communicable diseases and health emergencies. A lot of resources are now devoted to promoting regulatory interventions to combat non-communicable ‘lifestyle’ diseases, involving campaigns against tobacco, alcohol, sugar, salt and other issues that are ultimately matters of personal choice.

Its approach to tobacco illustrates this; it embraces coercive measures such as advertising and promotion bans, non-smoking areas and high taxes while saying nothing about voluntary alternatives such as vaping and snus.

Indeed, it has become a massive advocate for the nanny state. Its default position is to deny people the right to manage their own health and lifestyle in favour of authoritarian measures such as mandatory health warnings, prohibition legislation, advertising bans and excise taxes. It also advocates socialised healthcare systems (to achieve what it calls universal health care), with the title of its 2018/2019 Results Report “Driving impact in every country”, and has even embraced the gender fluidity argument, claiming “As a social construct, gender varies from society to society and can change over time.”

In 2018/19 the WHO’s budget was US$4.4 billion, with $351 million allocated to “Non-communicable diseases” and $384 million for “Promoting health through the life course”, a program that includes “Equity, social determinants, gender equality and human rights”.

Member states each make a contribution based on their GDP, but that only covers about 20% of the budget. A further 5% comes from voluntary contributions by member states, leaving 75% from other sources. America is by far the biggest contributor and the UK second (Australia is 19th), but the third biggest is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. In fact, just 20 donors contributed 80% of the organisation’s budget, of which only 13 are national governments including the European Commission.

Despite its reliance on non-government donors, the WHO’s intervention into non-communicable diseases is not obviously a result of pressure by them. None of the donations by the major philanthropic organisations contribute to funding this. About half of this nanny state allocation is taken from the assessed contributions of member states, while the other half comes from voluntary contributions by nine countries, including Britain, the Scandinavian countries and Australia.

It is more likely these countries are behind the program. It is not hard to imagine Australia’s delegates to the Health Assembly, which approves the work of the WHO, pushing the WHO in the nanny state direction; our domestic policies on alcohol, tobacco and other lifestyle issues are at least as intrusive and coercive as any other country. Moreover, on tobacco, our health bureaucrats constantly praise the merits of their own policies while ignoring the obvious fact that they are failing to reduce smoking and have caused a large and growing illicit tobacco market.

Australia’s enthusiasm for the WHO’s involvement in this area is obviously not widely shared. There is a clear gap between the WHO’s aspirations and the funding it receives from donors. This is leading to some scaling back of activities, although there is no indication it plans to change tack.

What this demonstrates is that by no longer sticking to communicable diseases and health emergencies, the WHO has become quite political. Whereas once its priorities were largely driven by need – people suffering and dying – it now assumes everyone aspires to live forever and requires its guidance to do so.

And when it is not doing that it is kowtowing to China and its lies, obstruction and obfuscation regarding the source of the Covid-19 virus.

A global organisation capable of helping the less fortunate people in the world is not an inherently bad idea. The question is whether that’s what we’ve got.

David Leyonhjelm is a former senator for the Liberal Democrats

This entry was posted in Guest Post, Shut it down. Fire them all., Take Nanny down. Bookmark the permalink.

15 Responses to David Leyonhjelm guest post. Has the WHO reached its use by date?

  1. Snoopy says:

    The whole UN reached its use by date in 1962.

  2. Cassie of Sydney says:

    “Has the WHO reached its use by date?”

    Everything about the UN has reached its use by date…..from WHO to UNESCO to UNICEF to the UNHCR. All of the aforementioned UN agencies now promulgate far-left progressive socialist narratives.

  3. Albatross says:

    Who cares what the Wuhan Hype Organisation says or does. Whatever residual credibility they had died about one year ago. I ignore it like I enjoy all hysterical Chunk propaganda.

  4. mundi says:

    By 11th Jan, the genetic sequence was already done, and labs had already called in everyone off every job to began work for vaccine. They had already been told it was transferrable between humans weeks ago.

    On 14 Jan 2020 WHO was still tweeting about how there was no proof it being transferrable and playing duck and weave for china bux.

    It is laughable that average person and politican doesn’t care. This info is available on freaking wikipedia, for god sakes, and still no one cares.

  5. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    Unfortunately such organizations are easily politicized since the activists love to make proles do things for their own good and they also love the juicy salaries. So you get some activist types in there and they recruit more like themselves until, a few decades later, the only people ever employed are such people.

    The CDC in the US is the same – the staff donate to the Democrats 1600 times more than to Republicans. You can’t get more political than that.

    What this is highlighting is the reign of scientism and fake experts. This has abounded during the Covid scare. Ironically the Left, which is the main source of such creatures, loves to accuse actual empirical scientists of being fake experts if they oppose the Left’s cherished myths like climate change and face masks. And the same with WHO and China – as soon as you mention the hard data showing Covid came from the Wuhan lab you get the full treatment.

    Well, the one good thing out of this is the tyranny of Lefty experts is coming to an end because the people have wised up to them. You can only cry wolf so much.

  6. Albatross says:

    third biggest is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

    Wow. Didn’t think it was possible for me to have a worse opinion of the WHO. I stand corrected.

  7. egg_ says:

    The CDC in the US is the same – the staff donate to the Democrats 1600 times more than to Republicans.


  8. Bruce of Newcastle says:

    More on the epidemic of politicised fake scientific expertise in this article from yesterday:

    The Higher Superstition

    More and more frequently we so-called advanced moderns believe things to be true that an illiterate farmer in 1800 would have known to be false. As every year passes, the self-proclaimed progressive “brights”–– those who “follow the science” rigorously, they claim, when making and supporting public policies–– endorse as proven facts beliefs and policies that are driven by ideological or venal self-interest rather than truth.

    If they continue, the consequences will be the bankruptcy of our culture, economy, and political freedom.

    Take this statement from CNN, a loud champion of “science”: “It is not possible to know a person’s ‘gender identity’ at birth, and there is no consensus criteria for assigning sex at birth.” Such a statement back in 1800 would have been dismissed as the ravings of a crank or the sales-pitch for some patent snake-oil.

    RTWT, he mentions previous blunders like eugenics and present ones like MMT.

  9. Spurgeon Monkfish III says:

    previous blunders like eugenics

    Alive and kicking (ptp) in various western European countries – just ask some of the 100% of babies aborted with downs syndrome.

    Oh wait, you can’t, because they were all killed.

  10. Tel says:

    Government involvement in medicine has become another self-licking ice cream, not so different to the military.

    If you see the “donors” not as the taxpayers of various nations, but as the senior department heads in various government agencies, then the WHO serves their needs very well: bigger budgets, and better justification for whatever additional powers they can grab, along with excellent diffuse responsibility … should anything go wrong we were merely following WHO guidelines and no one ever gets fired for following WHO guidelines, huh?

  11. Vicki says:

    Everything about the UN has reached its use by date…..from WHO to UNESCO to UNICEF to the UNHCR.

    Absolutely. As a naieve teen I wanted to work for Save the Children and/or other global organisations. A lifetime of watching NGOs reemerge as socialist scams lining the pockets of corrupt regimes and officials has soured all those altruistic beliefs.

    On the contrary, I now fear that the behemoth UN organisations present a real danger to western democracies as they stealthily influence the elites of the corporations governing world trade and influencing governments.

  12. Woolfe says:

    WHO Tweet Jan14, 2020

    Preliminary investigations by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human to human transmission of Covid.

    That’s all you need to know about them.

  13. Roger says:

    What this demonstrates is that by no longer sticking to communicable diseases and health emergencies, the WHO has become quite political.

    “Quite political”?

    I would aver that its raison d’être is now wholly political.

    Along with the rest of the UN.

  14. Mark M says:

    W.H.O spends more on travel costs than AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria combined


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