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Tipsheet

Guess How Much Money the WHO Spent to Fix Their Public Image

Valentin Flauraud/Keystone via AP

The World Health Organization (WHO) has botched the entire Wuhan coronavirus saga from the beginning. Taiwan attempted to alert the WHO about the pandemic that is now wreaking havoc on the world. Instead, the WHO looked the other way. The organization continually parrotted the Chinese Communist Party's talking points, particularly that the Wuhan coronavirus was not transmitted from human-to-human. To make matters worse, President Xi Jinping personally asked Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to delay publishing vital information about the Wuhan coronavirus. While the Center for Disease Control was recommending people wear masks, the WHO had completely different recommendations, saying only those who are sick or treating someone with coronavirus should wear a mask. Less than a week later, the WHO told people everyone should wear a mask.

It's safe to say the international organization has a public relations crisis. For one thing, the WHO has been caught turning a blind eye to a virus that has now become a pandemic. Instead of focusing on the health of the whole world, the WHO has been focused on cozying up to China and protecting the Chinese Communist Party's image.

It's no wonder the organization spent $135,000 hiring Hill + Knowlton Strategies, a global public relations firm. Documents obtained by the Justice Department reveal that the contract was signed on May 1 and was set to expire on June 15th.

The firm's influencer focus included:

  • Macro Influencers -those with large followings (1M+) such as celebrities for greater amplification of WHO messaging
  • Micro Influencers -those with smaller but highly engaged followings who function as trusted advisors and informed validators
  • Hidden Heroes -those without significant followings but who nevertheless shape and guide conversations, such as health experts appearing frequently on news programs
  • The scientific, medical and health community -to ensure they believe and advocate the advice given
  • Media -to ensure that articles are balanced in a time of concern verging on panic and uncertainty
  • NGOs -to ensure peer groups and local grassroots organizations endorse the role of WHO and its advice
  • The informed public -those that read everything and use their own channels and networks to validate or invalidate claims

The WHO wonders why no one trusts their judgment and why President Donald Trump permanently pulled taxpayer funds from the organization. They're parroting Chinese talking points and are more focused on how people view their image over actually helping the world get a handle on the coronavirus.

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