The coronavirus outbreak and resulting worldwide pandemic has resulted in more than four million deaths, including 612,000 Americans. In the early days of the pandemic, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) arrested journalists and doctors who dared to tell the world about the deadly virus that was spreading across China. The CCP blocked information about the virus on social media sites and removed news stories reporting accurate infection data. By the time the world was finally made aware of the danger Covid-19 posed, it was far too late. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the murderous and authoritarian CCP deserves recognition for the “transparency” and “leadership” they showed in the face of a deadly virus. WHO publicly said that China’s oppressive regime was “making us safer” from Covid. The four million people who have died thanks to CCP recklessness would surely disagree. 

Unfortunately, WHO isn’t finished repressing opportunities to save lives. Just three days ago, on July 27, WHO released their eighth global tobacco report, focused on reducing global access to reduced harm tobacco products and alternatives to tobacco. There are 1.1 billion people in the world who smoke cigarettes every single day, an all-time high. In 2019, eight million people died as a result of smoking. Thanks to WHO, millions more will die without access to these lifesaving alternatives. 

Just imagine how corrupt an organization would need to be to actively work against lifesaving technology. Fortunately, there is ample evidence demonstrating exactly who is influencing WHO tobacco control policy and how they are doing it. Mike Bloomberg, the billionaire former Mayor of New York City, and his multi-billion-dollar “charity” Bloomberg Philanthropies funded, and contributed to, the WHO report and have used their massive endowment to exert undue influence over low- and middle-income countries that are more vulnerable to philanthropic pressure.  

The WHO report is only one example of Bloomberg using his wealth to global health policy. In January 2021, Philippine Food and Drug Administration officials revealed that they have been receiving money from the Bloomberg Initiative and The Union, charities funded by Bloomberg himself. According to reports, the funds were bestowed on the condition that the Philippine government implemented Bloomberg-sanctioned tobacco control policies. While the Philippines are one of the first countries where Bloomberg’s pseudo-colonialism have been publicly exposed, the former Mayor and failed 2020 Presidential candidate has been pouring money into dark money groups for years in pursuit of prohibitionist policies. 

WHO’s report is filled with downright lies about e-cigarettes. In one section, the report states that “The outbreak of electronic-cigarette or vaping product use-associated lung injury (EVALI) in the United States in 2019–2020 highlights the potential dangers associated with (e-cigarettes)”. There is zero evidence that EVALI is the result of nicotine-containing e-cigarette use. Rather, illicit THC vaping products containing Vitamin E-Acetate have been identified as the culprit behind the outbreak. This is common knowledge among the scientific and health community. The report also attempts to tie “popcorn lung” to e-cigarette use, even though there has never been a case of popcorn lung resulting from vaping. WHO is more interested in following Bloomberg’s misguided ideology than sharing the truth about vaping. 

It is truly inconceivable that WHO would allow a prohibitionist like Mike Bloomberg to fund a report that will have incredible influence over the policies of dozens of countries. Bloomberg, and by extension WHO, would prefer to see the one billion global smokers die from cigarettes than switch to an alternative that reduces their exposure to harmful chemicals. 

There are, however, countries that have embraced, or at the very least tolerated, vaping products and other safer alternatives and have seen incredible improvements in public health as a result.  

WHO’s report claims that evidence is “inconclusive” that e-cigarettes help smokers quit, yet 2.4 million British smokers have quit cigarettes with vaping. Even as cigarette smoking has increased globally in the last few years, England has seen a dramatic decrease in smoking prevalence thanks to vaping. The British government has embraced vaping as a method of smoking cessation, publicizing data demonstrating that vaping is 95% less harmful than cigarettes and two to four times more effective at helping smokers quit than traditional nicotine replacement therapies. 

In Japan, cigarette sales have decreased by 43% over the past five years, the greatest decrease in recorded history, as a result of heat-not-burn tobacco products that significantly reduces exposure to harmful chemicals compared to cigarette smoking.  

A form of “clean” smokeless tobacco called snus contains less toxins than other tobacco products and is highly popular among Swedish men. Sweden has the lowest rate of lung cancer in the developed world.   

The World Health Organization knows this, of course. Just how they knew that China was arresting journalists, making truth-telling doctors disappear, and shutting down the spread of information that would have alerted the world to the once-in-a-generation pandemic that would soon sweep the globe.  

This much is clear, the World Health Organization is more interested in lining their own pockets than saving lives. The United States, currently the largest contributor to WHO’s budget, cannot in good conscience continue to fund their willful ignorance that continually costs lives all over the world. American taxpayers must demand that the U.S. defund, or at least suspend, funding to WHO until they commit to expanded transparency and true pro-science policies.