Final Word from Tuesday, December 7, 2021

It was clear that there were big plans for omicron when it took the World Health Organization just two days to classify it as a "variant of concern." It was first reported to the WHO from South Africa on Nov. 24, and on Nov. 26 the classification and naming were announced. By Nov. 29, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was using omicron to promote a new global accord on pandemics. "Our current system disincentivizes countries from alerting others to threats that will inevitably land on their shores... Covid-19 has exposed and exacerbated fundamental weaknesses in the global architecture for pandemic preparedness and response... The best way we can address them is with a legally binding agreement between nations." By Dec. 1, an agreement to kickstart a global process to draft and negotiate a pandemic convention was reached. The treaty will presumably grant the WHO the authority to declare a legally binding pandemic. If the Czech Parliament wanted to rescind the pandemic alert, it could not. Yes, omicron is undoubtedly a big Christmas gift, as some experts say. But for WHOm? [ Czech Republic Constitution state of emergency mutation Roman Prymula World Health Organization ]

Glossary of difficult words

to disincentivize - to discourage (a person or course of action) by removing an incentive;

to exacerbate - to make (a problem, bad situation or negative feeling) worse;

to kickstart - to provide an impetus to start or resume (a process); to start (a motorcycle engine) with a downward thrust of a pedal;

to rescind - to revoke, cancel or repeal (a law, order or agreement).

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