At some point you’d sorta hope that these people would stop and think for a moment. If the aim here is to be able to control more of other peoples’ money with no care for the effectiveness of output perhaps they are thinking. If the aim is to care about shit getting done they clearly aren’t:
The world should have been better prepared for a pandemic. From the Sars outbreak of 2003 to the Mers outbreak of 2012, it was apparent that coronaviruses could not only could make successful species jumps, but that they would result in human-to-human transmission – and that these novel viruses could prove deadly. The chaotic response to the Ebola outbreak in west Africa in 2014 showed just how poorly prepared the world was to tackle known, let alone novel, pathogens.
OK, we’ll specify that’s true without bothering to examine it all that much.
The current architecture is not fit to prevent a future pandemic. The World Health Organization has recorded its latest failure: bedevilled by bureaucracy and chronically underfunded, it has been reduced to yet another arena for the diplomatic contest between the United States and a rising China. Its response to Covid-19 was too slow, and was inhibited by a reluctance to be seen to be “taking sides”.
But in truth, the WHO has never possessed either the capacity or capability to tackle a global pandemic, even if it had acted more decisively.
OK, so the global bureaucracy we set up to deal with global health problems – pandemics, yes, among them – is shit and incapable. OK, we’ll agree that’s true.
So, what to do about it?
We now need a global foundation for health security – an institution whose purpose is to monitor threats and take steps to counter them. A properly funded global institution would invest in scientific research around the world and create the platforms needed to rapidly invent new vaccines. It would coordinate the efforts in universities and other research institutions, working alongside national governments.
So the solution to the failure of a global bureaucracy is to have another global bureaucracy, is it? Without even slowing own to consider whether the problem is inherent to a global bureaucracy?
This is Einstein’s definition of insanity, doing the same thing over again and expecting a different result. And ain’t that a great way to spend our money on running the world?