W.H.O. Appoints Veteran UK Communist Party Member to Advisory Panel
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A veteran Communist Party of Britain member has been appointed chair of a World Health Organisation (W.H.O.) lead advisory group.

Professor Susan Michie, director of the Centre for Behaviour Change at University College London (UCL), will head the W.H.O.’s Technical Advisory Group (TAG) on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health.

The Times reports the UCL academic, who is a frequent contributor on the BBC and ITV, has been a member of the Communist Party of Britain for more than 40 years.

Michie was propelled to public attention in 2021 when she said wearing masks and social distancing should continue for the “long term” to suppress the Chinese coronavirus and other diseases, as Breitbart London reported.

The academic was a member of the influential Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) at the time which advised Downing Street on how to respond to the pandemic. She said  “people’s behaviour” was key in controlling the pandemic.

Michie told Channel 5, according to the Daily Telegraph: “That is the behaviour of social distancing, of when you’re indoors, making sure there’s good ventilation or if it’s not, wearing face masks, of hands and surface hygiene.

“We will need to keep this going in the long term and that will be good not only for Covid, but also to reduce others [sic] diseases.”

Breeze Harema-Watts gives out free RAT kits and masks as she volunteers in the Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust local vaccination and testing centre in Henderson on July 20, 2022 in Auckland, New Zealand. The New Zealand government has made face masks and rapid antigen tests free to access, as the country faces a new wave of Omicron COVID-19 infections. (Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)

Asked for how long the measures should continue, Professor Michie, who had reportedly earned in her youth the nickname “Stalin’s nanny”, said: “I think forever to some extent because this isn’t going to be the last pandemic.”

The W.H.O.’s advisory group on Behavioural Insights and Sciences for Health consists of “renowned experts” that represent a “broad range of disciplines,” including economics, anthropology and psychology, according to the organisation’s website.

“The group provides expert advice for the development of a road map for WHO to define a mechanism to systematically include behavioural evidence in its work and in national health policies and programme planning,” the online description adds.

The chosen experts will make recommendations to the organisation on a regional and global level.

Many critics expressed their frustration at Professor Michie’s appointment, with one Twitter user saying: “I thought the WHO was an appalling discredited organisation before this announcement. It is now even worse if that was possible!”

Follow Simon Kent on Twitter: or e-mail to: [email protected]

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