I’m afraid it’ll be a makeshift IHP newsletter this week, as I’ve just moved house and – in the words of this week’s editorialist, Clara Affun-Adegbulu, moving house seems to “have affected my body & soul”. Not sure what she meant by that (as my soul is probably doomed anyhow), but as my colleague Remco chuckled, “one really shouldn’t replant old trees”. That I can confirm now.
So before getting to this week’s IHP news & publications, I’ll just mention a few facts & figures for the many diehard sports fans among you (thx to my Twitter feed). “Shocking fact of the morning from @owenbarder – the @WHO annual budget to cope with a global flu outbreak is smaller than the university of Michigan’s football coach salary.” Another one, for the many admirers of Kevin Debruyne & Vincent Kompany: “Manchester City’s annual defence spending now exceeds that of 52 actual countries”. Clearly, humanity is (still) getting its priorities right. After all, Manchester City needs a strong defence.
Against this backdrop, next time there’s a huge outbreak (let alone a global pandemic), I’d suggest the WHO communication team tries out a new approach, specifically for citizens in richer countries: instead of rather dull press conferences on the state of affairs on the outbreak, why not go for some teasing tweets by Dr Tedros (“TTTs”) himself, under the motto ‘never waste a good crisis’?
In the morning, he would tweet for example: “The health contingency fund, sadly, is empty once again. The world could have paid for it if Neymar actually had been taxed just 0.01 % more. We, at WHO, totally understand that, though. Neymar is a lot more fun to watch than Ebola.” In the afternoon: “Corpses are piling up in New York due to the latest outbreak. Shit happens if you fund basketball stars and hedge fund managers better than global health security.” And a late evening tweet, also targeting American citizens: “Hey guys, we have another pandemic heading for mankind. Judging from your country’s budget, it appears the US will nuke the germs coming in our direction, and give the rest of them a royal tax cut. But at least you’ll have tanks on the streets for your Washington Parade!” Etc.
If I understand well, Dr Tedros & team are aiming for “innovative resource mobilization strategies” to finance the 13th GPW. So here you go.
Enjoy your reading.
The editorial team
(you find the pdf of the newsletter here: IHPn456 )