World leaders discussed “Disease X” on Wednesday at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting, which took place in Davos, Switzerland.
Prior to Wednesday’s forum, the World Economic Forum’s website listed a description of the meeting, which said, “With fresh warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) that an unknown ‘Disease X’ could result in 20 times more fatalities than the coronavirus pandemic, what novel efforts are needed to prepare health care systems for the multiple challenges ahead?”
The “Preparing for Disease X” panelists included WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Shyam Bishen from the Centre for Health and Healthcare, Brazil Minister of Health Nisia Trindade Lima, and multiple executives from various healthcare organizations.
Although Disease X is intended to represent a deadly virus that has not yet been discovered, world leaders at the World Economic Forum discussed plans to prepare health care systems across the world for another event like the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Amesh Adalja, who is an expert from the John Hopkins Center for Health Security, told CBS News that an outbreak of Disease X could happen sooner than most people think.
“There are strains of viruses that have very high mortality rates that could develop the ability to transmit efficiently from human to human,” he Adalja warned.
During Wednesday’s meeting, Ghebreyesus suggested that COVID-19 could potentially be considered the first “Disease X.” The WHO director explained that international health experts and scientists have learned from the pandemic and are actively preparing for the next health crisis.
“Whether it’s in health systems or even the private sector, by the way — research and development — you can prepare for it,” Ghebreyesus stated.
Ghebreyesus highlighted the WHO Pandemic Preparedness Treaty, which he said nations across the world are negotiating prior to a deadline in May. “That agreement can help us prepare for the future in a better way because this is about a common enemy,” Ghebreyesus said.
Peter Sweden, a political commentator, shared a video of the WHO director’s comments at the World Economic Forum, warning, “At the WEF meeting they now say that countries have to sign up to the WHO pandemic treaty to be prepared for ‘Disease X’. It’s all about TOTAL control.”