The "Omicron" variant is officially here and beyond the existential dread of the looming lockdowns, this new variant raises several questions.
For scientists, it likely raises concern around the mutation and effect of the virus, but for Greek alphabet enthusiasts like myself, it raises the question, how did we go from "Mu" to "Omicron."
It is seemingly the case that the "region" the WHO hopes to preserve from "stigmatization" is President Xi Jinping.
The same Telegraph source also confirmed "Nu" was skipped because it sounds like "new," and allowing society to refer to a mutated virus as "new" sounds unacceptably innocuous.
Of course, this is not the first time the WHO has cowered to China. There is a now viral clip of a senior advisor to the WHO dodging a question that would validate the very existence of Taiwan. The interview took place last year when Hong Kong's RTHK spoke with Dr. Bruce Aylward, a Canadian physician, former assistant director-general at the WHO and a current senior advisor.
In addition to denying the existence of Taiwan, Aylward was also seen in a clip shared by Chinese media, saying the country knew what it was doing and "if I had Covid-19, I'd want to be treated in China."
The current director-general, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, is also profoundly compromised by China. According to the BBC, "while Dr. Tedros may be political, a lot of that political effort seems to be spent reassuring authoritarian, opaque governments, in a bid to get them to work with the WHO to tackle diseases which threaten global health."
We now know that Tedros and the WHO actively downplayed COVID, as noted in The Hill, "from the outset, Tedros has defended China despite its gross mismanagement of the highly contagious disease. As the number of cases and the death toll soared, the WHO took months to declare the COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic, even though it had met the criteria of transmission between people, high fatality rates and worldwide spread."
To summarize, the World Health Organization is a compromised organization, beholden to an authoritarian dictator who is absolutely petty enough to cancel the letter "Xi" to protect himself from any blame for the virus. This is the same man who banned Winnie the Pooh because people said they looked alike.
The reality is that the crime of skipping over the "Xi variant" is small, relative to the other terrible things the WHO has done for China. Nonetheless, skipping over the letter signifies the deep influence of China over the organization.
Furthermore, it signifies that the WHO is willing to employ social justice jargon around "stigmatization" to defend a regime that sends Muslim Uyghurs to concentration camps.
If the WHO is suddenly in the business of avoiding stigmatizations, they can start with a new naming system that doesn't appropriate my precious Greek culture. Until then, the most respectable thing the WHO can do is admit that if there were a Greek letter that sounded like "Trump," they almost certainly would not skip it when choosing the next variant name.
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Remind me next month