David Bell and Emma McArthur
Sceptics of the growing ‘pandemic prevention, preparedness and response’ (PPR) agenda celebrated recently, heralding a perceived ‘defeat’ of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) controversial amendments to the International Health Regulations (IHR). Although the proposed amendments would have undoubtedly expanded the WHO’s powers, this focus on the WHO reflects a narrow view of global health and the pandemic industry. The WHO is almost a bit-player in a much larger game of public-private partnerships and financial incentives that are driving the pandemic gravy train forward.
While the WHO works in the spotlight, the pandemic industry has been growing for over a decade and its expansion accelerates unabated. Other major players such as the World Bank, coalitions of wealthy nations at the G7 and G20 and their corporate partners work in a world less subject to transparency; a world where the rules are more relaxed, and a conflict of interest receives less scrutiny.
If the global health community is to preserve public health, it must urgently understand the wider process that is underway and take action to stop it. The pandemic express must be halted by the weight of evidence and basic principles of public health.