Last night, a senior fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations re-tweeted a number of tweets from outspoken editor of the Lancet Richard Horton. The Lancet is one of the world’s most prestigious medical journals and Horton, as its editor, carries a great deal of cachet on the subject of health and disease. His tweets were very critical of the World Health Organization, which he called “corrupt” and the Global Fund, which he said is “dying”.
Journalist Jaclyn Schiff collected the tweets and added some context, along with a few explanations of the players involved. Horton’s online tirade is important because the WHO is the public health arm of the United Nations and the United States pours a great deal of money into it (the WHO budget for 2011 was nearly $4 billion). If the organization has become too sclerotic and corrupt to do its job, should we continue to fund it as if it were competently run and getting the results we desire? If we do not, then what, if anything, should take its place?