The World Health Organization (WHO) has a new head of the Technical Advisory Group for Behavioral Insights and Science for Health – and she is Professor Susan Michie.
Michie, director of the Center for Behavior Change at University College London, previously advised her country’s government on Covid, and has spent the past 40 years as a member of UK’s Communist Party.
In her advisory role in the UK, Michie made a name for herself as a staunch advocate of extremely stringent Covid-related restrictions. At some point last year she came up with a radical statement in favor of masks and social distancing mandates continuing “forever.”
Speaking for Channel 5 in June 2021, Michie made the claim that both masks and social distancing are needed as long term measures not only to combat coronavirus, but also other diseases.
The professor is at the same time a major champion of surveillance measures, digital test and trace alerts, border controls, and vaccine passports (in the context of Covid), describing them as essential.
Those unhappy with the behavior of both the UK government and the WHO during the years of the pandemic have not welcomed the appointment, with some social media users expressing disbelief that the WHO as a discredited organization could get any worse – and seeing proof that it just did, with Michie joining it.
In the UK, Michie was a member of the government’s SAGE advisory body, which has been criticized for repeatedly relying on models that proved to be wrong when making Covid restrictions recommendations.
Michie has also spoken about the need to impose measures that would produce maximum suppression of the virus around the world, and now in her new role with the UN health agency, she may have the opportunity to further advance her agenda as the pandemic drags on.
WHO’s advisory group is, according to its website, made up of experts from the fields of economy, psychology, and anthropology, while its purpose is to incorporate behavioral science into WHO’s activities, as well as in national policies of member-countries.