WHO Boosts Budget by 20% to ‘Prepare’ for Future Pandemics and ‘Disease X’

Originally published June 6, 2023 4:00 pm PDT

The World Health Organization (WHO) has just concluded its 76th World Health Assembly (WHA), seeing various significant developments, including a notable budget increase of 20% for the organization, as reported by The Defender.

In the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the WHO’s increased budget will assist the agency in combating future health crises and “emergencies of all kinds.”

As cited by The Defender, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus underscored what he characterized as the importance of preparedness for future health emergencies in his address to the WHA on May 22.

He said, “The threat of another variant emerging that causes new surges of disease and death remains. And the threat of another pathogen emerging with even deadlier potential remains … When the next pandemic comes knocking — and it will — we must be ready to answer decisively, collectively and equitably.”

In highlighting the wide range of threats humanity faces, Ghebreyesus claimed, “Pandemics are far from the only threat we face. In a world of overlapping and converging crises, an effective architecture for health emergency preparedness and response must address emergencies of all kinds.”

The WHO is also paying attention to a hypothetical “Disease X,” a potential future disease currently unknown or non-existent with the potential to cause devastation on a global scale.

The concept was first introduced by Dr. Richard Hatchett of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness in 2018.

Hatchett has warned, “This isn’t the stuff of science fiction. This is a scenario we have to prepare for. This is Disease X.”

To further strengthen its preparedness, the WHA approved a historical budget increase of 20%, taking WHO’s budget to $6.83 billion for the period of 2024-2025.

In the words of The Defender, member states agreed to this budget increase which included “a historical 20% increase of assessed contributions (or membership fees).”

The budget will be divided between “membership fees” and “voluntary contributions” from various contributors.

The organization’s budget priorities for the 2024-2025 period are broad and include extending universal health coverage, shielding from health emergencies, promoting “better health and well-being” for “one billion more people,” besides supporting polio eradication, “special programs” and “emergency operations.”

Interestingly, The Defender pointed out through the financial analysis of independent journalist James Roguski, that WHO’s spending patterns for the year 2022 showed the organization spent twice as much on salaries ($1.164 billion) as on medical supplies and materials ($551 million), and nearly 35% on “contractual services.”

Despite this significant increase, WHO is moving forward with a “replenishment mechanism” aiming to garner more funds from private actors.

The WHO anticipates that the mechanism “will be designed to increase the predictability of WHO’s funding by encouraging multiyear commitments,” and “enhance political support for the full financing of the base segment of WHO’s Programme budget through a year-long, inclusive engagement process that culminates in a high-visibility financing event.”

This investment opportunity is expected to yield substantial returns for investors, with WHO stating there is a “$35 return for every $1 invested in WHO.”

The Defender is part of Children’s Health Defense (CHD), a nonprofit group that campaigns against various public health programs, such as vaccination and fluoridation of drinking water.

CHD was founded in 2011 under the name World Mercury Project and is chaired by 2024 Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

American Faith reported how a delegate from the Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), a branch of the World Health Organization (WHO), recently advocated for running a “simulation exercise.”

The proposal was made during the World Health Assembly, WHO’s annual decision-making event, at a strategic roundtable discussion.

The simulation aims to test the efficacy and implications of two powerful new instruments set to bolster the WHO’s power: an international pandemic treaty and revisions to the International Health Regulations (IHR) 2005.

From the GPMB delegate’s perspective, this simulation is crucial to “ensure” the success of the imminent pandemic treaty and the proposed IHR amendments.

The delegate stated, “We feel very strongly that we cannot wait for the next emergency to find out how well the pandemic accord and the IHR amendments will work.”

In that report, it was emphasized that such pandemic simulations have been conducted before.

On October 18, 2019, just months before the coronavirus outbreak, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, in partnership with the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Gates Foundation hosted “Event 201” in New York, New York.

Johns Hopkins described the event as a “high-level pandemic exercise.”

The exercise represented a “3.5-hour pandemic tabletop exercise that simulated a series of dramatic, scenario-based facilitated discussions, confronting difficult, true-to-life dilemmas associated with response to a hypothetical, but scientifically plausible, pandemic,” according to Johns Hopkins.

The COVID pandemic would commence just months later, raising questions about the connection between these simulations and real-world events, American Faith noted at the time.