Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The WHO's Special COVID-19 Envoys - How Special Are They?

Back in late February 2020, the Imperial College of London made this announcement on behalf of the World Health Organization:

Here is a further quote from the announcement:

"Dr Nabarro said he is "delighted" at the appointment. "I want to draw on my own international experience, as well as the expertise of current and former colleagues, to help ensure that collective action is at the heart of the COVID-19 response – however long and hard it turns out to be," he added. 

Dr Nabarro described the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as a major global challenge that requires concerted effort, multi-disciplinary action, employer and employee engagement and the collective capacities of businesses. 

"As the outbreak evolves, any one of us global citizens may be at risk and all of us are likely to be involved in the response in some way or other," he said.

"Doing this well, as a determined community, can only happen if there is full and generous collaboration among all local and national governments, in ways that explicitly avoid political positioning and point-scoring.

"Those of us who have been responsible for outbreak responses in the past have learned to work together in ways that recognise our interdependence and reflect our mutual respect, regardless of who we are and to what we are affiliated. We have learned that we do best if we are willing to share what we know (and do not know) openly with each other, and do all we can to ensure that no person, no community and no nation is left behind.

"This way of working will generate the trust needed for what has to be a massive, synchronised, multi-actor response, and to ensure that it is as effective as it possibly can be. To get there we all have to make a commitment to a truly collective effort: that must be our joint commitment." (my bold)

Here's what the World Health Organization had to say about his posting to the position of special COVID-19 envoy and the role of the envoys as a whole:

You are likely unaware of Dr. David Nabarro so I am providing you with this copy of his CV:

Obviously, given the current state of pandemic panic, Dr. Nabarro's appointment as a special envoy for the World Health Organization's response to the COVID-19 pandemic is very important since he will be responsible for providing advice to various governments around the world as they learn how to deal with the novel coronavirus.

Let's take a look at Dr. Nabarro's track record from back when he was one of the most senior public health officials at the World Health Organization.  Here is a newspaper article that appeared in the Guardian back in September 2005 when the H5N1 (aka the "Bird Flu") influenza epidemic was taking place:

You will notice that I have highlighted the section where he states that the "consequences in terms of human life when the pandemic does start are going to be extraordinary and very damaging..." and that "the rage of deaths could be anything between five and 150 million."

I can certainly remember the panic that the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza created around the world since it appeared to mutate into a form that was transmissible from person to person.  In fact, the perceived danger led to this, again from the Guardian newspaper:

So, with all of this fear-mongering by one of the World Health Organization's key pandemic specialists, what was the final death toll from H5N1?  From the WHO's own website, here is a table showing the number of human infections and deaths from 2003 to 2020:

Your eyes are not deceiving you.  There were only 861 cases of H5N1 found in humans and, of these, 455 deaths were recorded, all but one of which (Canada) were in developing nations.  Dr. Nabarro was only out by a factor of between 2,198 percent and 329,670 percent.  That's not too bad, is it?  Then again, if you were a chicken living in Southeast Asia, your odds of dying prematurely were pretty high.

And, this expert is still actively appearing in the U.K. media during the current pandemic:

Given the pandemic panic that is being created, in large part, by the World Health Organization which is being relied on by governments around the world for scientifically accurate advice during this crisis, it is interesting to see that one of their six "special envoys" appointed as WHO's response to the coronavirus has a track record that is, to put it mildly, less than special.


  1. So he was off by a little bit, just like a lot of other people including the epidemiologists from whom he was presumably taking those numbers. Of course, maybe it was because WHO aggressively led a very strong response to the possible H1N1 pandemic that it did not happen.

    It's a little like the Y2K crisis in the 1990s. Vast amounts of time and money we're spent to address the problem. Pretty little or nothing happens when we hit 01 January 2020, so everybody said it was a fake problem.

    It's a lot easier to get credit for cleaning up a god-awful mess that it is for actually making sure nobody makes the mess in the first place.

    1. Off by a little bit?! He said 5-150 MILLION deaths. Yes little man, make lots of squishy excuses for you new overlords, just as they had planned.

      With your sad little "mess" metaphor, you seem to be arguing that in the future we will automatically lock-down the entire world on a moments notice "just to be sure".

      Meet back here on May 14th to confirm exactly how many EXCESS deaths there actually are (see link below). As of April 17, Europe looks just like 2017/2018 flu season. Will you be able to accept that the entire "response" was basically worthless? I'm gonna guess that instead you'll claim that we saved millions of lives.