Stat News published an op-ed critical of The WHO’s decision to omit TB from its list of top-priority antibiotic-resistant bacteria. 

WHO’s rationale for excluding TB from consideration is that “it is already a globally established priority for which innovative new treatments are urgently needed.” In other words, TB was not considered for inclusion in a list of global priorities because it is a global priority. This explanation defies reason.

Tuberculosis is a global pandemic. The WHO estimates that an astounding 10.4 million people contracted this airborne disease in 2015 (the last year with complete statistics) and 580,000 of them have drug-resistant forms of it. Only 1 in 5 people with drug-resistant TB gets diagnosed and treated. The rest remain sick and contagious for months or even years, spreading the disease to others before they usually die from it.

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