Don’t let Tedros be re-nominated as WHO boss

World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom could put the planet at risk of another pandemic if re-elected to lead the global public health agency.

Tedros served on the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF, politburo which ruled Ethiopia in dictatorial fashion from 1991 until its 2018 overthrow ahead of popular protests. The TPLF, reduced to Tigray’s provincial power, is at war with the federal government, led by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Ethiopia is unlikely to re-nominate Tedros to the WHO director-generalship because of the Tigray conflict. However, one account that he plans to run again suggests another country may nominate him.

The ICC complaint presented evidence that Dr. Tedros’ controversial handling of the Wuhan outbreak was not an isolated incident but part of a larger pattern of attempted cover-ups of embarrassing information as favors for political partners.

According to the complaint, Tedros engaged in these cover-ups when he was a senior Ethiopian official 2012-2016. They allegedly include downplaying the extent of a 2015 famine, fudging poverty rates (also see), falsely claiming arrested journalists were criminals, and denying a massacre by security forces for which he shared command responsibility.

Tedros also looked the other way while he knew subordinate security forces were torturing children and sending them to concentration camps, the complaint alleges.

Tedros’ Ethiopian cover-up attempts have been under-reported, but their implications for international security are enormous. They indicate a probability that, if another of Tedros’ political friends needs an epidemic minimized, Tedros will do it again.

Many accuse Tedros of colluding with China to understate the transmissibility of the Covid-19 Wuhan outbreak until it was too late to stop its deadly spread.

It is vital that the public understands the risks of allowing Tedros a second term before the WHO nomination process ends this September.

To leave a man with a long and proven history of cover-ups in charge of an organization that’s supposed to alert the world to grave danger would be insane. We could have another pandemic.