Friday 4 September 2020

The many failings of 'public health' in the Covid era

I've written a report for the IEA looking back on all the failings of Public Health England and the World Health Organisation since COVID-19 emerged. You Had One Job identifies four or five key failings by each agency and offers some proposals for reform. One of them - closing down PHE - was announced while the report was being edited last month. I discuss what to do with the WHO in this article for Cap-X.

You can download the full report for free here.

I've also written about where 'public health' went wrong for Spiked today. One of the problems is that agencies like PHE and WHO don't believe they have one job. They want to get involved in everything.

We could tolerate ‘public health’ professionals banging on about complex socio-economic problems beyond their ken if they could do their day job. Covid-19 showed that they can’t. The WHO was a hapless dupe of the Chinese Communist Party in the crucial early stages, while Public Health England was just hapless. Like the broader ‘public health’ movement, these agencies had taken their eye off infectious diseases in favour of becoming glorified political campaigners. Endless conferences, studies, targets and position statements on everything from computer games to climate change were no use when push came to shove. 

Do read it all.

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