Overmatter | November 23, 2021
In May 2020 I spoke to Lawrence Gostin, who runs the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law in Washington D.C. He explained that the health assembly that year, which was focused almost entirely on the pandemic, was taking place in the context of a huge geopolitical competition between the two world superpowers. The WHO was caught in the middle. America hoped to throw its weight around, and try to get accountability from China—particularly in relation to the origin of the virus. But ironically, America’s moves against the WHO caused it to lose influence when it was most needed.