On May 4th, 2009 CNN's Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen ran a story "When a pandemic isn't a pandemic", exposing the World Health Organization for changing the definition on its Web site from a pandemic flu that causes "enormous numbers of deaths and illness" to “when a new influenza virus appears against which the human population has no immunity.” (1)

Barely one month later in June of 2009 the World Health Organization's director-general, Dr. Margaret Chan officially declaring H1N1 a Pandemic, stating "All countries should immediately activate their pandemic preparedness plans." These plans turned out to be so-called "sleeper contracts" pre established between vaccine manufacturers and countries in Africa and Europe. (1)

Months later, the Council of Europe would cite this alteration as evidence that WHO changed its definition of pandemic influenza to enable it to declare a pandemic without having to demonstrate the intensity of the disease caused by the H1N1 virus. (2)

This in turn also triggered a joint investigation by the British Medical Journal, which is one of the oldest peer reviewed medical publications in the world, and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. The investigation uncovered evidence raising troubling questions about how the WHO managed conflicts of interest among the scientists who advised its pandemic planning, and about the transparency of the science underlying its advice to governments. (3)

The panic surrounding the H1N1 swine flu and the race to get vaccinated was significantly influenced by inflated and widely disseminated models which incorrectly predicted thousands upon thousands of people would die from the flu. These models were produced by Professor Neil Ferguson and a team of researchers at Oxford’s Imperial College. (4)

Eleven years later, on March 11, 2020, the WHO, relying on the same definitions and models, declared COVID-19 to be a global pandemic. As noted in the New York Times article published in March 2020 "Behind the Virus Report That Jarred the U.S. and the U.K. to Action", the Imperial College has advised the government on its response to previous epidemics, including SARS, avian flu and swine flu. With ties to the World Health Organization and a team of 50 scientists, led by a prominent epidemiologist, Neil Ferguson, Imperial is treated as a sort of gold standard, its mathematical models feeding directly into government policies. (5)

Dr. Ferguson had said in an interview, just after the report was released. “Based on our estimates and other teams’, there’s really no option but to follow in China’s footsteps and suppress" suggesting that lock down was the only way of dealing with the pandemic. (5)

Even more recently, the New York Times ran another article entitled "in hunt for virus source, WHO let China take charge", stating that as it praised Beijing, the World Health Organization concealed concessions to China and may have sacrificed the best chance to unravel the virus's origins. Now it's a favorite Trump attack line.. going on further to state "Nine months and more than 1.1 million deaths later, there is still no transparent, independent investigation into the source of the virus. Notoriously allergic to outside scrutiny, China has impeded the effort, while leaders of the World Health Organization, if privately frustrated, have largely ceded control, even as the Trump administration has fumed. (6)

The W.H.O.’s staunchest defenders note that, by the nature of its constitution, it is beholden to the countries that finance it. And it is hardly the only international body bending to China’s might. But even many of its supporters have been frustrated by the organization’s secrecy, its public praise for China and its quiet concessions." (6)
What's interesting to me is the findings of the BMJ's investigative report and the claims made by former leaders of the Council of Europe that "Key scientists advising the World Health Organization on planning for an influenza pandemic had done paid work for pharmaceutical firms that stood to gain from the guidance they wrote. These conflicts of interest have never been publicly disclosed by WHO." (3)
They went on to state that the "WHO’s handling of the pandemic has led to an unprecedented number of reviews and inquiries by organisations including the Council of Europe, European Parliament, and WHO itself, following allegations of industry influence. Dr Chan has dismissed these as “conspiracies,” but the inquiry spurred by British MP Paul Flynn for the Council of Europe Parliamentary Assembl—was critical stating that "the decision making around the A/H1N1 crisis has been lacking in transparency. It pointed to distortion of priorities of public health services, a waste of huge sums of public money, provocation of unjustified fear, and the creation of health risks through vaccines and medications which might not have been sufficiently tested before being authorised in fast-track procedures. (3)
Does this sound familiar? What do you think? I would like to hear from you please subscribe and share this with critical thinkers and like minds.   

Sources/ Citations:

(1) Cohen E. When a pandemic isn’t a pandemic. Atlanta: CNN.com/health [Internet]. 2009 May 4: https://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/05/04/swine.flu.pandemic/index.html

Doshi P. The elusive definition of pandemic influenza. Bull World Health Organ 2011; 89:532–8. https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/89/7/11-086173.pdf

Schnirring L. European hearing airs WHO pandemic response, critics' charges. 2010 Jan 26. https://www.cidrap.umn.edu/news-perspective/2010/01/european-hearing-airs-who-pandemic-response-critics-charges

Cohen D & Carter P.  WHO and the pandemic flu “conspiracies”.; British Medical Journal. 2010 June 12 Volume 340. https://www.bmj.com/content/bmj/340/7759/Feature.full.pdf

Gebrekidan S., Apuzzo M., Qin A., Hernandez J. In Hunt for Virus Source, W.H.O. Let China Take Charge; New York Times. 2020 Nov 2 https://www.nytimes.com/2020/11/02/world/who-china-coronavirus.html

Loffredo J. Same Story, Different Decade: How WHO’s Definition of a Global Pandemic Benefits Big Pharma; The Defender: Children's Health Defense News & Views. 2020 Oct 31. https://childrenshealthdefense.org/defender/who-definition-global-pandemic-benefits-big-pharma/