Reprinted by permission from Rodef Shalom 613.

The heinous background of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

Meet WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus

While all eyes are on the WHO during this pandemic, it pays to take a look at the person at the helm.

  • Tedros Ghebreyesus (or Tedros as he prefers) is not a medical doctor despite the appellation. He is the first WHO director-general not to have a medical degree.
  • As Ethiopia’s health minister, he is accused of covering up three cholera outbreaks, calling them cases of watery diarrhea.
  • He was the third highest official in the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and allegedly played a key role in the kidnapping of a prominent dissident as well as other atrocities.

Let’s go through them one by one:

First WHO Director-General who is not a medical doctor

Tedros received a BS in Biology from the University of Asmara, after which he worked as a Junior Health Expert for the Ministry of Health of the Dergue, the Marxist government ruling Ethiopia under dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam.  After the fall of the Dergue in 1991, Tedros moved to London for graduate school where he acquired a Master’s of Science in Immunology of Infectious Diseases. In 2000, he received a Ph.D. in Community Health from the University of Nottingham.

Dr. Tedros became head of the Tigray Regional Health Bureau in 2001, was State Minister of Health from 2003 to 2004, and was Minister of Health for all of Ethiopia from 2005-2012, under Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. Between 2012-2016, he was the Ethiopian foreign minister[1][2]

Ignored cholera epidemics as Ethiopia’s health minister

For many years, health experts in Ethiopia noticed a strange phenomenon: The government was refusing to acknowledge cholera outbreaks.

Instead, the authorities labelled the outbreaks as “acute watery diarrhea” – a broader term that includes milder diseases. Research by Human Rights Watch found that the Ethiopian government was pressuring its health workers to avoid any mention of cholera, which could damage the country’s image and deter tourists.

Throughout this period, one of the most powerful officials in Ethiopia’s authoritarian government was Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, first as health minister and then foreign minister. In 2017, he was elected to a new post: director-general of the World Health Organization.

Critics say the cholera saga in Ethiopia is a sign that Dr. Tedros is comfortable with the secrecy of autocratic states – a tendency that may have led him to accept China’s earliest reports on the novel coronavirus outbreak in December and January without challenging its officials with tough questions.

“Dr. Tedros is the product of a deeply authoritarian regime,” said Jeffrey Smith, director of Vanguard Africa, a U.S.-based consultancy that lobbies for democracy in Africa.[3]

Testing for cholera is not difficult.

Outbreaks occurring in 2006, 2009 and 2011, he said, were only “acute watery diarrhea” in remote areas where laboratory testing “is difficult.” That is what the Ethiopian government said then and is saying now about an outbreak that began in January.

W.H.O. officials have complained privately that Ethiopian officials are not telling the truth about these outbreaks. Testing for Vibrio cholerae bacteria, which cause cholera, is simple and takes less than two days.

During earlier outbreaks, various news organizations, including The Guardian and The Washington Post, reported that unnamed Ethiopian officials were pressuring aid agencies to avoid using the word “cholera” and not to report the number of people affected.

But cholera bacteria were found in stool samples tested by outside experts. As soon as severe diarrhea began appearing in neighboring countries, the cause was identified as cholera.

United Nations officials said more aid could have been delivered to Ethiopia had the truth been told. . . .

There are many causes of acute watery diarrhea, and the treatment is basically the same as for cholera: intravenous and oral rehydration, accompanied by an antibiotic if the cause is bacterial.

But cholera is especially virulent and kills some victims in less than 24 hours. Since it emerged from the Ganges River Delta in 1817, it has killed tens of millions around the world.[4]

Tedros called “terrorist”

“When Tedros moves his lips Beijing speaks” 

Tedros was one of the top three members of the TPLF and the party is

. . . ultimately responsible for all the corruption, killings, torture, mass detention, land grab or displacement. He was very close to the late dictator Meles Zenawi, who trusted him to be a confidant as well as a cabinet minister. . . .

[F]ormer security official Ayalew Meshesha, says that Adhanom was not only involved in facilitating Tsege’s kidnapping but also played an active role in the rendition of over 760 dissidents who fled to Yemen.[5]

Prior to his current position at the WHO, the United Nations’ health organization, Tedros, was a leader of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).

EPRDF is a group that was designated a “terrorist organization” by the United States Department of Homeland Security.

The group overthrew the government of Ethiopia to seize control of the country in the 1990s and was designated a “terrorist organization” by the U.S. “on the basis of its violent activities before it became part of the ruling coalition.”

A memo from the Department of Homeland Security in 2014 details the background of the EPRDF.

The TPLF is a political group founded in 1975 in Ethiopia, as an opposition group.

The TPLF engaged in prolonged armed conflict with the government of Ethiopia, which, along with other groups, it succeeded in overthrowing in 1991.

The TPLF then joined the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), a political coalition that became the governing coalition in Ethiopia.

The EPRDF continues to control the government of Ethiopia.

The TPLF qualifies as a Tier III terrorist organization under INA section 212(a)(3)(B)(vi)(III) on the basis of its violent activities before it became part of the ruling coalition and the government of Ethiopia in May 1991.[6]

In 2017, National Review called for the WHO to be defunded, in part, over Dr. Tedros’s ties to the group.

Dr. Tedros, as he likes to be called (he has a Ph.D. in community health), is a leader of Ethiopia’s brutal minority party, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, a wing of the ruling Marxist-rooted Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front.

He served the violently repressive regime as minister of foreign affairs from 2012 to 2016, after a stint as health minister. [7]

The United States State Department has categorized TPLF as a terrorist organization due to its “violent activities before it became part of the ruling coalition and the government of Ethiopia in May 1991”.[8]

The Amhara Professionals Union objected to Tedros’s candidacy

In their extensive research article [9] they explain:

In that regard, we present a case of Dr. Tedros A. Ghebreyesus’s candidacy for World Health Organization (WHO) Director General position as an example of diplomatic backing playing more importance for open vacancies of such magnitude than the individual’s background or credentials. Irrespective of the final outcome, the fact that an individual accused of systematic genocidal violence and human right violations by his opponents, who could even be subject to criminal investigations in the future at his own country or at International level, became one of the top three contenders for WHO Director General position is by itself an indication that the foundational principles in the recruitment policy for leadership role at International Public Health Organizations are violated.

They list the following offenses:

  • Discrimination/Marginalization: Dr. Ghebreyesus implemented preferential treatment of “Tigray region” at the expense of other “Regions” especially “Amhara region” resulting in significant disparities in health coverage and outcomes between “Tigray region” and “Amhara region”.
  • Crime against Humanity: Dr. Ghebreyesus and his government … distribut[ed] iodine deficient salt to Ethiopians, affecting pediatric brain development permanently especially “Amhara region” children where the land is normally iodine deficient compared to other parts of the country. …
  • Systematic genocidal violence: The TPLF has historically labelled the Amharas as the historical enemy of the Tigray people. This is expressed in the TPLF manifesto published in 1975.  … Dr. Ghebreyesus has served to accomplish agenda of TPLF to depopulate Amharas. “Amhara region” stood the top only in family planning especially in use of injectable “contraceptives” effectively making many Amhara women barren. 6
  • Biased policies, inaction and impartiality: Though HIV/AIDS affected “Amhara region” [more] than any other “Regions” in Ethiopia for reasons not yet known, appropriate measures should have been taken before, during and after Dr. Ghebreyesus era under TPLF led government to minimize the impact of the disease.
  • Corruption and misuse of budget: [The] Inspector General of Global Fund Office reported weakness in accounting, poor budget preparation and monitoring, inadequacies of internal audit and overall poor financial management of FMOH during his leadership…
  • Disregard for Humanity: … Many International organizations brought evidence that the TPLF led Ethiopian government is using aid to suppress political dissent by conditioning access to essential government programs on support for the ruling party …
  • Incompetency/Inaction: Because of Dr. Ghebreyesus leadership incompetency, Ethiopia was affected by Cholera almost every year during his tenure and actually his refusal to declare epidemic actually caused the disease to be disseminated throughout the country.
  • Lack of transparency: … Dr. Ghebreyesus failed to be transparent by forcing the Ethiopian Ministry of Health not to report and cover up a Cholera epidemic throughout most of his tenure by simply renaming a deadly epidemic as Acute Watery Diarrhea (AWD) despite the isolation of Vibrio cholerae as a causative agent.
  • Maleficence and risking public safety: Iodine deficient salt was distributed in Ethiopia during Dr. Ghebreyesus tenure, violating the basic principles of ethics: non-maleficence. In addition, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and his team never gave attention to his people grievances despite multiple complaints from the affected people in “Amhara region” and other “Regions” because of poorly treated and handled chemical waste products.
  • Poor judgement: The latest scandal while he was Minister of Foreign Affairs involved a 14 year old teenager by the name “Beritu Jaleta”, and clearly shows his poor judgement.  It is unimaginable to think a person of his position will trust a teenager without confirming the source and make a promotion that a 20 million Australian Dollars was awarded to a teenager by Australian government and will be used to build a school in Ethiopia, “Oromia region”.
  • Lack of accountability: Dr. Ghebreyesus is still proud of his role as a TPLF executive member and served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of TPLF/EPRDF led government making him accountable to each and every atrocity committed by TPLF on Ethiopians during his tenure, especially the ethnic cleansing and genocidal violence committed against the Amharas.
  • Violation of basic Human Rights/Suppression of freedom of expression: Dr. Ghebreyesus used the Ministry of Health as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to implement his party’s ideology … his party is currently ruling Ethiopia under a “State of Emergency” which imposed broad restrictions on freedom of assembly and gave security forces wide powers to arrest and kill People.
  • Integrity/Truthfulness/Honesty: Though Dr. Ghebreyesus and his government claim maternal mortality ratio (MMR) decreased in Ethiopia in his time, there is actually no statistically significant difference in MMR for decades in Ethiopia as confirmed by a study done by the current Ethiopian FMOH, Dr. Yifru Berhan.

An outrageous appointment

Now we can understand why Tedros, as director of the WHO, had no hesitation about naming Zimbabwean dictator, Robert Mugabe, as WHO’s “goodwill ambassador”.

In October 2017, Tedros named Mugabe a “goodwill ambassador” to help combat non-communicable diseases in Africa, provoking outrage from medical professionals and human rights groups. At the time the New York Times noted: The role of good-will ambassador is largely symbolic, but rights groups were scathing in their reaction to the symbolism of giving it to a man whose leadership, they say, has led to the collapse of its health service and major rights abuses in Zimbabwe. Ultimately, Tedros rescinded his decision to name Mugabe “goodwill ambassador” in the wake of criticism.[10]