By Brenda Steele:
Many of those who come to this site are probably regular viewers of the ScotGov Coronavirus briefings and have watched the FM handle a hostile press. Quite clearly the objective of many questions is fodder for shrieking Sturgeon/SNPBaaad headlines.
Nicola Sturgeon is not the only target.
WHO also has press briefings. WHO officials are subjected to very similar treatment for the same tawdry motives. The briefings can be found at:
I only began watching recently, but at each one I have detected what can only be described as fishing expeditions. The briefing of 27 July is a case in point. At around 44:30 minutes in, Anna Gross Markets Reporter at the Financial Times poses this question:
“When, if at all, do you expect the WH team to present findings on the origin of Covid-19 and when they do will they meet with the press in Beijing?”
As far as I am concerned, I can only describe this as a display of either crass ignorance or deliberate nastiness. Clearly this journalist has not done her homework. The terms and purpose of this mission have been fully explained at a recent previous briefing. Nevertheless, Dr Maria Van Kerkhove goes over the terms and purpose of the mission yet again.
This is the lady who got vilified by;? the press over a statement about asymptomatic carriers being rare and then being accused of having “rowed back” on it.
I have not gone back to look at that briefing, but I would not be surprised to find that the press got it wrong.
I notice that both Dr Kerkhove and Mike Ryan now give quite verbose answers. I suspect that this technique of saying the same thing in several different ways reduces the ability of the press pack to misunderstand through wilfulness or ignorance. As I was writing this, I realized that, to some degree, the same technique is being used at the ScotGov Coronavirus briefings. Up to now I had found the repetition irritating, now I understand it.
I recommend listening to the complete WHO briefing. Mike Ryan describes how countries should prepare for post lockdown life. He emphasises that strategy should be set at central government level but that test trace etc. should be done at the very local level. Granular was the word he used. Additionally, he recommended that people should be able to find out what Covid-19 activity is occurring in their local area.
It is clear to me that ScotGov is following WHO guidelines and I point to this as evidence
Scotland developing a COVID forecasting service which will send SMS updates on local prevalence to make better informed decisions
Just what Dr WHO ordered.
The same cannot be said of Tory Westminster. Their centrally-run Test & Trace system has been farmed out to contractors. Far from making information about the prevalence of the virus in their locality available to the populace, the contractors actually kept the data from the appropriate local officials!
Moreover, this Tory government clearly does not want WHO advice and wants to go their own way unhindered by petty bureaucracy. Their tame propaganda unit, the BBC World Service, has put together this:
Is the WHO fit for purpose?
The WHO investigates the coronavirus origins in China. Is it too little, too late?
There was one little snippet in that broadcast that caught my attention. It was the assertion that much of the problems at WHO lie with how it is organized. This explains it.
I surmise that they resent the fact that they cannot buy influence over the organization despite making large “donations”. Johnson is very much on the same page as Trump in this. Trump is planning to leave and take his money with him.
My take is that this will drive the EU further from the UK and the USA. It is very much EU policy to supports multilateral organisations to help keep the peace.
Note, by the way that Mike Ryan is Irish. In the course of putting this together, I looked at his CV. Really impressive.