If you go to the Situation Reports for human H5N1 infections at the WHO, you will notice that the first report was listed is for Vietnam (January 13, 2004). That report describes an outbreak that began in October 2003. However, that was not the first H5N1 outbreak in humans. Two previous H5N1 outbreaks in humans are mentioned, both in Hong Kong. One occurred in 1997 while the other occurred in February 2003. For some reason, neither outbreak gets its own entry. The outbreak in Vietnam is the first one listed in the WHO situation reports for avian influenza. The two Hong Kong outbreaks are listed at the bottom of the report of the Vietnamese outbreak. No reason is given for this odd decision.
There was another H5N1 case in 2003. It occurred in a PLA soldier by the name of Shi who was based in Beijing. He became ill in November of 2003 and died in December. However, you won’t find his case near the Vietnamese report at the bottom of the Situation Reports because his infection and death was not revealed to the world until June of 2006, over two years after it occurred. Furthermore, there is substantial evidence that someone, most likely associated with the Chinese government, attempted to prevent publication of this case by impersonating the authors and lying to the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine. You can read more about this in an earlier blog: Shi, The Soldier.
Although the first human H5N1 deaths were first reported in Hong Kong, no credible scientist believes that it originated there. It almost certainly started killing people in mainland China first, but these were covered up, just as the Chinese government covered up SARS. One of the interesting things about both SARS and H5N1 is that, in both cases, PLA Generals sought to cover up the outbreaks. But there is another common factor in both outbreaks – Dr. Margaret Chan.
Margaret Chan was the head of the Department of Health in Hong Kong in 2003, when SARS was raging. She was criticised by both relatives of the dead and the Legislative Council of Hong Kong for helping the mainland government minimise the scale of the disaster rather helping to limit the outbreak. You can read more about her performance here. Margaret Chan left this job and then joined the WHO, also in 2003, as Director of the Department for Protection of the Human Environment. It is not clear whether she had any input into the Situation Reports, no author is given, but she became Representative of the Director-General for Pandemic Influenza in 2005, which would suggest that she was likely involved in their preparation. Thus, she was positioned to suppress information relating to the government of China’s role in the spread of SARS while in Hong Kong and their role in the spread of H5N1 while at the WHO.
Margaret Chan became Director-General of the WHO in in 2006. How did someone who had botched Hong Kong’s SARS response, and then run interference for the Chinese government at the WHO, get the top public health position in the world? Well, first her predecessor, Dr LEE Jong-wook of South Korea, had to die suddenly and unexpectedly (New York Times, May 22, 2006):
Dr. Lee fell ill at a luncheon on Saturday in Geneva at the beginning of the weeklong meeting, called the World Health Assembly. He complained of a severe headache, took an analgesic, and later vomited, an official who was present said. Paramedics took him to the Cantonal Hospital in Geneva. Surgeons found that he had a blood clot on the brain known as a subdural hematoma and removed it.
Such clots often follow injuries to the head like those from a fall. But the W.H.O. said Dr. Lee had been in good health and was not known to have had any such injury. The clot also could have resulted from a bleeding artery in his brain.
After Dr. Lee’s death, the Chinese government launched an unparalleled campaign to replace him with Margaret Chan. This effort is alleged to have included bribes of billions of dollars to African countries for key votes. You can read more about this here.
After becoming Director-General of the WHO, Margaret Chan continued her practice of shielding the Chinese government from any blame associated with disease outbreaks. When the 2009 H1N1 pandemic started, she wasted valuable time taking the necessary steps that would permit production of a vaccine. Pixie at PFI_Forum has written an eloquent description of the very real human cost to this action.
I have followed Margaret Chan’s career in public health for years. It is my opinion that her only motivation has been to advance herself, without any concern for the harm she causes others. She has attained the top job in public health by slavishly obeying the dictates of the Government of China, even at the expense of many lives. I realise that many do not have either the scientific background or the patience to carefully read all of the documents related to Margaret Chan’s career in public health. Thus, it may not have been clear to casual observers that she serves the Chinese government, not public health. However, on May 1, 2010, she made it obvious to anyone who listened that she is an evil woman. Because on that day she said the following (MaximsNewsNetwork):
As I have indicated earlier on, I spent about two and a half days in Pyongyang but based on what I saw, the population in the capital, in terms of their height and weight, they are pretty similar to Asian people who I have seen in other countries.
DPRK has enough doctors and nurses, they have a very elaborate health infrastructure, starting from the central to the provincial to the district level
But mind you, as I said, now in Asian countries, because of affluence and intake of food we are seeing obesity which I don’t see in DPRK.
She made these statements in response to reporters questions about public health in North Korea and reports of starvation. But she didn’t stop there. In July 2010, Amnesty International came out with a report highlighting the horrific public health conditions in North Korea. Margaret Chan directed her PR spokesman, Mr. Garwood, to challenge this report. This sickening and false attack on Amnesty International should remove any doubts about the true nature of Margaret Chan.
I am not a clinician and cannot certify that Margaret Chan is a psychopath. But she sure acts like one.