WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus unsurpisingly announced on Saturday that the expanding monkeypox outbreak in more than 70 countries now qualifies as a global emergency requiring global financial investment, the first time the chief of the UN health agency has taken such an action.
“We have an outbreak that has spread around the world rapidly through new modes of transmission about which we understand too little and which meets the criteria in the international health regulations,” Tedros said. “I know this has not been an easy or straightforward process and that there are divergent views among the members” of the committee, he added.
The emergency declaration mostly serves as a plea to draw more global resources and attention to an outbreak.
“Although I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern for the moment, this is an outbreak that is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners,” Tedros said. “That means that this is an outbreak that can be stopped with the right strategies in the right groups.”
But the powers-that-be will not limit the response to this new “global emergency” to “the right groups”; they will abuse their power wherever and whenever they deem it advantageous, just as they did with the politically-exploited COVID pandemic.