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Reports accuse WHO of exaggerating H1N1 threat, possible ties to (Obama donors) drug makers

Von: Leroy N. Soetoro (leroysoetoro@usurper.org) [Profil]
Datum: 05.06.2010 03:37
Message-ID: <Xns9D8DBD69244526F089P2473@202.177.16.121>
Newsgroup: free.impeach.obama alt.health alt.politics.obama alt.politics.democrats.d alt.politics.usa.republican
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060
403034.html

European criticism of the World Health Organization's handling of the
H1N1 pandemic intensified Friday with the release of two reports that
accused the agency of exaggerating the threat posed by the virus and
failing to disclose possible influence by the pharmaceutical industry on
its recommendations for how countries should respond.

The WHO's response caused widespread, unnecessary fear and prompted
countries around the world to waste millions of dollars, according to
one report. At the same time, the Geneva-based arm of the United Nations
relied on advice from experts with ties to drug makers in developing the
guidelines it used to encourage countries to stockpile millions of doses
of antiviral medications, according to the second report.

The reports outlined the drumbeat of criticism that has arisen,
primarily in Europe, of how the world's leading health organization
responded to the first influenza pandemic in more than four decades.

"For WHO, its credibility has been badly damaged," wrote Fiona Godlee,
the editor of the BMJ, a prominent British medical journal, that
published one of the reports. "WHO must act now to restore its
credibility."

A spokesman for the WHO, along with several independent experts,
however, strongly disputed the reports, saying they misrepresented the
seriousness of the pandemic and the WHO's response, which was carefully
formulated and necessary given the potential threat.

"The idea that we declared a pandemic when there wasn't a pandemic is
both historically inaccurate and downright irresponsible," said WHO
spokesman Gregory Hartl in a telephone interview. "There is no doubt
that this was a pandemic. To insinuate that this was not a pandemic is
very disrespectful to the people who died from it."

The first report, released in Paris, came from the Social, Health and
Family Affairs Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of
Europe, which launched an investigation in response to allegations that
the WHO's response to the pandemic was influenced by drug companies who
make antiviral drugs and vaccines.

"The parliamentary assembly is alarmed about the way in which the H1N1
influenza pandemic has been handled, not only by the World Health
Organization (WHO), but also by the competent health authorities at the
level of the European Union and at national level," the 18-page draft
report states.

"It is particularly troubled by some of the consequences of decisions
taken and advice given leading to distortion of priorities of public
health services across Europe, waste of large sums of public money, and
also unjustified scares and fears about health risks faced by the
European public at large," according to the report.

The second report, a joint investigation by the BMJ and the Bureau of
Investigative Journalism, which is based in London, criticized 2004
guidelines the WHO developed based in part on the advice of three
experts who received consulting fees from the two leading manufacturers
of antiviral drugs used against the virus, Roche and GlaxoSmithKline.

"We are left wondering whether major public health organizations are
able to effectively manage the conflicts of interest that are inherent
in medical science," the report states.

Hartl dismissed those charges.

"WHO would say categorically that it believes that it has not been
subject to undue conflict-of-interest. We know that some experts that
come to our committees have contact with industry. It would be
surprising if they didn't because the best experts are sought by all
organizations," Hartl said. "We feel that the guidelines produced were
certainly not subject to undue influence."

Several other experts also defended the agency.

"Twenty-twenty hindsight can always second guess the decisions of public
health officials," said Jeffrey Levi, executive director of the Trust
for America's Health, a private nonprofit group. "But this kind of
condemnation of public health officials who made the most prudent
decisions based on available knowledge could well backfire in future
emergencies: I fear that public health officials will draw the lesson
that they should wait for greater scientific certainty before responding
in the future -- and we could pay for that overcaution with many lives
lost."

In response to the criticism, the WHO has launched two investigations,
including one by an independent panel of experts led by Harvey Fineberg,
who heads the U.S. National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine.



--
Nancy Pelosi, Democrat criminal, accessory before and after the fact, to
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles B. Rangel of New York's
million dollar tax evasion.  On February 25, 2010, the House ethics
committee has concluded that Ways and Means Committee Chairman Charles
B. Rangel knowingly accepted Caribbean trips in violation of House rules
that forbid hidden financing by corporations.  Democrat criminal Nancy
Pelosi is deliberately ignoring the million dollar tax evasion of
Democrat Charles Rangel.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi had to be forced to remove Charles B. Rangel
from the House Ways and Means Committee.

Felony President.

Obama violated the law by trying to buy Joe Sestak off with a political
appointment in exchange for not pursuing an election bid to replace
Arlen Specter.  Obama violated the law by trying to buy former Colorado
House Speaker Andrew Romanoff off last fall to see if he'd be interested
in an administration job -- instead of running against Sen. Michael
Bennet.

18 USC, Sec. 600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political
activity

Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment, position,
compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit, provided for or
made possible in whole or in part by any Act of Congress, or any special
consideration in obtaining any such benefit, to any person as
consideration, favor, or reward for any political activity or for the
support of or opposition to any candidate or any political party in
connection with any general or special election to any political office,
or in connection with any primary election or political convention or
caucus held to select candidates for any political office, shall be
fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

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