We know WHO, but how? China, that’s how, and the WHO

Dana Pham (pronouns: who/cares)
4 min readApr 17, 2020


Naohiko Hatta — Pool/Getty Images

“Each one hopes that if he feeds the crocodile enough, the crocodile will eat him last. All of them hope that the storm will pass before their turn comes to be devoured. But I fear greatly that the storm will not pass. It will rage and it will roar ever more loudly, ever more widely.” — Sir Winston Churchill

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is an Ethiopian microbiologist who has served since 2017 as Director-General of the World Health Organisation, and is the first non-physician in the role. How did he get to the top of the WHO?

Both US and Chinese firms invested in Ethiopia in the 00’s, which saw massive economic growth for Ethiopia. Now China is the one with the leg up, for whatever reason US entrepreneurs (I suspect due to anti-entrepreneur red-tape) have stopped investing such large capital there; China is setting up special economic zones there. This matters to the WHO because China now has a large amount of economic leverage over Ethiopia, including political, which I suspect is why people like Tedros have so much power.

The end result? Satya Marar, a policy analyst at Reason Foundation, sums it up best:

“At a time when conspiracy theories such as “vaccines cause autism” and “5G towers spread cancer” are gaining traction and threaten to stall technological progress while putting human life and health at risk, an international organization with the resources to educate the public while bringing nations together to tackle global health issues could prove invaluable.

Unfortunately, the WHO has instead sacrificed public trust and goodwill by serving the interests of the human rights-abusing communist Chinese regime, and by spreading blatant misinformation that undermines many of the public health objectives it claims to support.”

The Chinese Communist Party declared war on the rest of the world when it closed its domestic borders to restrict COVID-19, but kept its international borders open to spread it! Time to impose sanctions on China.

Over a decade ago, their scientists warned about a ticking time bomb that would eventually come out of China. They explicitly referred to inhumane and cruel wet markets where exotic and often endangered animals carrying all sorts of pathogens are bought, sold and consumed. Even the SARS pandemic which the world had already experienced came out of similar conditions in south-east Asia.

Not only did the Chinese communist government ignore this warning when it was made, they’ve also quietly allowed the same wet markets to reopen recently after closing them down in the initial wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. This is a government which goes out of its way to spy on its own citizens, persecutes and executes dissidents, throws ethnic minorities into concentration camps for ‘re-education’, harvests the organs of its prisoners and has a ‘social credit’ system for keeping tabs on all of those who don’t toe the line. Clearly, they can do the world a favour, but choose not too.

Meanwhile, governments around the world have been forced to spend trillions of dollars on bailing out businesses and workers who are suffering from the economic devastation caused by COVID-19 and the subsequent lockdowns. All of this could have been at least mitigated if the Chinese government hadn’t zealously repressed information about the pandemic in its initial and critical weeks, persecuting whistleblowers and making some of them conveniently disappear.

Meanwhile, they used their commercial proxies to quietly buy up critical medical supplies from countries like Australia, later causing a shortage when they would be needed. No doubt the governments of said countries also share some blame for not shoring up enough emergency reserves of the same supplies for a crisis like this. But it doesn’t change the dubious actions of the Chinese government who then had the guile to feign altruism by sending some supplies back to the countries that supplies were taken from, many of which were of poor quality and could not be used.

Medical and commercial devastation have been the direct result of the Chinese state’s refusal to close down the inhumane wet markets and its botched, repressive handling of the pandemic. There needs to be some form of compensation, or at the very least a deterrent for this sort of conduct. Economic punishment is probably the way to go to push the CCP into permanently shutting down its wet markets and reducing the chance of something like this happening again, which it more than likely will.

It’s not racist to refer to the geographical origin of the virus, and it’s not racist to call out the Chinese government for enabling the pandemic. If political correctness and trying to read bigotry into situations where it doesn’t exist matter more to you than an authoritarian rogue regime which wantonly abuses its own people and represses its ethnic minorities with an iron fist, then you should look in the mirror if you want to know what a racist is.



Dana Pham (pronouns: who/cares)

Trans-inclusionary radical feminist (TIRF) | Liberal Arts phenomenologist from @notredameaus | Anglo-catholic | all opinions expressed here are my own