The WHO Committee in question is called the “Independent Oversight and Advisory Committee for the WHO Health Emergencies Programme”:
As a reminder, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the covid-19 crisis a pandemic only on March 12, 2020!
Bambi has expressed her earlier frustration regarding this delay, that may have prevented countries from preparing well:
Anyhow, Bambi got interested in comparing the responses of Dr. Tam and Dr. Ammar, both Directors of Public Health agencies in their respective countries, Canada and Lebanon.
Just for the record, Canada seems to have unhealthy ties with China (alignment to a large extent). Well, Lebanon has comparable unhealthy ties, but with Iran. Yet, despite some initial delay in closing its airport and land border with Syria (likely for political or military reasons), the Lebanese Government learned fast that we cannot waste much time in pandemics. Up to now at least, It has been doing an excellent job in protecting citizens (i.e., outstanding compared to the initial response of Canada!).
Again for the record, we are talking about a tiny bankrupt country on the verge of collapse. Their politicians may be corrupt when it comes to money… but they seem to be competent, knowing how to be as “covidwise” as possible.
Now, the Ministers of Health, Ms. Hajdu (Canada) and Dr. Hassan (Lebanon) are both relatively new to their positions. However, Hajdu was sworn in earlier, in November 2019 (http://www.netnewsledger.com/2019/11/21/patty-hajdu-sworn-in-as-minister-of-health/). As for Dr. Hassan, he took the responsibility of his Ministry of Health on January 23, 2020, as per the Lebanese Ministry of Health Twitter account. Just as reminder, the Lebanese government was formed end of December, 2019 when Bambi was visiting Beirut in the middle of a revolt (i.e., after three months of revolt, without a government).
First, here is a picture of Dr. Ammar (the Dr. Tam of Lebanon, so to speak):
To begin with, and as a reminder, on January 26, our own Dr. Tam tweeted the following:
Here is what the Honourable Hajdu, our Minister of Heath repeated on the same day:
Well, on the exact same day… or rather night (January 26 to after midnight of January 27, 2020), look where the Lebanese Minister was! He was at the Beirut airport in person checking on the medical operation of screening patients, their temperature and testing in case of symptoms. Bambi knows the time from a video posted on that governmental Twitter account. She took a screenshot of it. Below, we can read in Arabic: “What is Dr. Hassan doing at the Beirut airport after midnight“?
Does Canada have any excuse for its slow and careless response, with our borders or masks, etc.? Masks that it did not stockpile, as it was supposed to. Masks that it shipped to China in the middle of a pandemic. Well, no, at least according to Bambi.
This being said, did Canada improve after the fiasco of its initial response? Yes thankfully, especially on the economic front (despite miscoordination with provinces at times). It also ended up closing the US border (now oddly, it is already ready to open it to illegal migrants coming to Québec). Thankfully, overall, Mr. Trudeau and his team took good decisions to support Canadian businesses and citizens. For that, they should be commended. However, for their initial response, Bambi is sorry to say that tiny bankrupt Lebanon managed to beat them. Not very glorious, especially that we could have learned lessons from the SARS crisis. Doing worse than a tiny bankrupt country… Frankly, is this something to be proud of, as Canadians?
To conclude this post, if you are curious to know why did Bambi do all the timeline comparisons, here is why: 1. She LOVES Canada and wants us to do better; 2. It breaks her heart to see many deaths in our country; 3. She is very sad to see fellow citizens impacted by the tragic economic crisis; and… 4. last but not least, she came across the following documentary (see below) that intrigued her, to say the least. Indeed, if the 400-page document of briefings that is cited is accurate, she learned that Dr. Tam may have ignored internal advice from people from her own Ministry twice. One briefing even cited credible sources, namely the American CDC and from the UK.
Of note, this same documentary referred to Dr. Tam’s tweet of January 26, 2020 (see above). After hearing about it, Bambi had the fun idea of doing her own search, just to double-check the information. She also thought of searching to see where Lebanon was at that exact time, especially that Drs. Tam and Ammar are colleagues who are involved with the same WHO committee :).