February 25, 2020
I’m personally skeptical that this is going to turn into a pandemic.
But I have to tell you: the idea of an affirmative action hire being in charge of all of this really gives me cause to worry. I do not feel safer because a literal Ethiopian, who was put in charge because he is black, is telling me to feel safer.
As outbreaks of the new coronavirus flare up in several countries beyond China, experts at the World Health Organization on Monday tried to rein in fears and media speculation that the public health emergency will become a pandemic.
“I have spoken consistently about the need for facts, not fear,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press briefing Monday. “Using the word ‘pandemic’ now does not fit the facts, but it may certainly cause fear.”
As always, the director-general (who goes by Dr. Tedros) and his colleagues at WHO tried to shift the conversation away from speculation and worst-case scenarios. Instead, they want to focus on data and preparation. In doing so, though, Dr. Tedros noted that some of the latest figures in the epidemic are “deeply concerning.”
Since last week, officials have reported rapid increases in COVID-19 cases in several countries, namely South Korea, Iran, and Italy. As of Monday, February 24, South Korea has confirmed 763 cases and 7 deaths—a dramatic rise from the 30 cases and zero deaths it had tallied just a week ago.
The situation in Italy, likewise, went from 3 cases at the start of last week to 124 confirmed cases and two deaths Monday. Iran went from zero to 43 cases in the same period and has reported eight deaths.
The figures have led to many media reports over the weekend speculating on whether the new coronavirus outbreak is or would become a pandemic. For now, Dr. Tedros said, it is not.
“Our decision about whether to use the word ‘pandemic’ to describe an epidemic is based on an ongoing assessment of the geographical spread of the virus, the severity of disease it causes and the impact it has on the whole of society,” he explained. “For the moment, we are not witnessing the uncontained global spread of this virus, and we are not witnessing large-scale severe disease or death.”
Replacing whites with third worlders in all of these important and influential positions because it makes women feel good is something we’re all going to live to regret.
At least, those of us who do not die of Coronavirus will live to regret it.