Coronavirus (1024) Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement

10 October, 2020

The front page of this week's Lancet carries the words:

'We strongly support the indispensable role of the WHO in controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, and call on all nations to increase, rather than decrease, their funding support and political backing for the work of the WHO at this fraught time.' Here, here. These words are quoted from the Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement in the same issue.

CITATION: Lancet COVID-19 Commission Statement on the occasion of the 75th session of the UN General Assembly

The Lancet COVID-19 Commissioners, Task Force Chairs, and Commission Secretariat

Commission statement| volume 396, issue 10257, p1102-1124, october 10, 2020

Published: September 14, 2020



The Lancet COVID-19 Commission was launched on July 9, 2020, to assist governments, civil society, and UN institutions in responding effectively to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Commission aims to offer practical solutions to the four main global challenges posed by the pandemic: suppressing the pandemic by means of pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical interventions; overcoming humanitarian emergencies, including poverty, hunger, and mental distress, caused by the pandemic; restructuring public and private finances in the wake of the pandemic; and rebuilding the world economy in an inclusive, resilient, and sustainable way that is aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Many creative solutions are already being implemented, and a key aim of the Commission is to accelerate their adoption worldwide.

One reason for failure to suppress the epidemic is a style of political leadership that has been called medical populism...: the US President, Donald Trump, the Philippine President, Rodrigo Duterte, and the Brazilian President, Jair Bolsonaro. We call on governments to prioritise advice from the professional public health community, working in cooperation with international agencies and learning from the best practices of other nations. All countries should combat decisions based on rumour-mongering and misinformation. Leaders should desist from expressing personal viewpoints that are at odds with science.


Best wishes, Neil

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HIFA profile: Neil Pakenham-Walsh is coordinator of the HIFA global health campaign (Healthcare Information For All - ), a global community with more than 19,000 members in 177 countries, interacting on six global forums in four languages in collaboration with WHO. Twitter: @hifa_org FB: