This morning I woke with the thought ‘smoke and mirrors’ and had dreams of ‘hidden things’, of truth not revealed. According to the Oxford Dictionary something that is described as smoke and mirrors is intended to make you believe that something is being done or is true, when it is not.

The spread of Covid-19 has released many theories and ideas across the internet of ‘what is really going on’ in relation to the Coronavirus, its inception, spread and the reaction by the World Health Organisation and world Governments to control its spread to protect their citizens.

Recently I also had another dream and woke with three numbers – 1923, 2014 and 2023 but did not feel to write about them. Today when I woke with the message ‘smoke and mirrors’ I had a thought that the two dreams were related. When I typed these numbers into Google I discovered something very interesting.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) was established in 1948 to further international cooperation for improved public health conditions. Although it inherited specific tasks relating to epidemic control, quarantine measures and drug standardisation were inherited from the Health Organisation of the League of Nations set up in 1923. WHO was given a mandate under its constitution to promote the attainment of “the highest possible level of health” by all peoples. WHO defines health positively as ” a state of complete physical, mental, and social well being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”. [1]

In response to the World Health Assembly resolution on traditional medicine (WHA62.13) the WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy 2014-2023 was developed and launched, with the aim of developing proactive policies and implementing action plans that strengthen the role of traditional medicines in keeping populations healthy. [2]

The government of the People’s Republic of China provided the financial support for the development of the document. The document states that following the initial global strategy of 2002 to incorporate traditional and complimentary medicine (T&CM) into main stream health care systems, WHO updated their objectives of the Traditional Medicine Programme (TMP) into the 2014-2023 objectives.

So now I know that the numbers from the dream relates to WHO and the influence by the Chinese Government to integrate Traditional Medicine (Chinese?) into main stream health care systems. The question remains, where does the ‘smoke and mirrors’ fit into the story?

I began to review this question by researching who funds WHO and discovered in absolute terms, the U.S. is the largest overall funder per year with assessed contributions to date of $115.8 million followed by China with contributions of $57.4m. [3]

But it is not only the U.S. Government who are huge doners to the WHO. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the largest American private foundation in the world, are also huge doners to the WHO. As of 2018, the Foundation had donated around $36 billion to the WHO, with a strong focus on the development of effective and affordable vaccines, pharmaceuticals and other health tools. [4]

Following increasing global criticism of the U.S’s response to the Coronavirus, President Trump shifted the blame to the WHO, and announced on April 14 that he would halt funding to the organisation accusing them of being “China-centric and of having lost all credibility during the ongoing Coronavirus crisis”. So what is it about China’s push for T&CM via the WHO, the US funding of the WHO and the global Coronavirus pandemic that is not true, what is it that is being hidden?

Surely the push from China for the global recognition and inclusion of (Chinese?) T&CM and the largest donors of the world coming from the U.S. with their strong reliance and investment in pharmaceuticals and immunisations must be a conflict of interest?

Not only has Donald Trump blamed the WHO for being ‘China-centric’ but the Trump Administration has also announced speculation that the Covid-19 virus originated in a Wuhan lab. China has also tried to play a blame game with the U.S., deputising its spokesmen to spread confusion about the source of the virus. China’s slow response to the Coronavirus and its failure to share information with the WHO, along with the WHO’s apparent pandering to China’s interests, has made the crisis even worse.

Clearly the influence by competing Government’s interests with the WHO is extremely problematic in terms of public health and well being. Both the influence of China and the U.S. over the WHO in the wake of the pandemic has been catastrophic. The woeful responses and petulant games of blame being played by both Washington and Beijing provides a clear vision that neither China nor the United States have had the health and well being of their citizens as their priority. To my mind all three institutions need to take responsibility for our current global health crisis and should be held accountable.

The ‘smoke and mirrors’ of the current global health crisis is the hidden agendas of self interest by some of the world’s most rich and powerful ‘men’ and their influence on Government and the WHO, at the expense of the health and well being of our planet and its people.

Regardless of how the Coronavirus started, the world needs to learn the truth of its lessons. As individuals we have a responsibility to choose leaders and institutions who care about people and the environment. We need to move from egocentric to ecocentric leadership. We need to ensure that we have leaders who are acting beyond self interest and who are committed to the health and well being of all of life on this planet.

People are waking up and the following article by Shruthi Vijayakumar and Robyn Seetal for the World Economic Forum COVID Action platform explores what leadership looks like in the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” .

It is well worth the read.