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Bloomberg Has Entourage & Intern at UN for Maternal Health, Only 2 Questions

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, October 2 -- When Mike Bloomberg came to the UN on Tuesday it was billed on a press conference, albeit on the topic of maternal health in Tanzania. Still, one expected that more than two questions about be allowed in the 50 minutes, and that each opening speech wouldn't be met with applause, as happened.

  Who was it, filling the Dag Hammarskjold Auditorium? Bloomberg's entourage?

  There were jokes all around. Bloomberg said he was making UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon an honorary New Yorker; he also said the daughter of the speaker from the H&B Agerup Foundation was in the auditorium, and he'd speak to Ban to get her an "in" at the United Nations.

  Cursory research finds an Agerup (and Q-Med) scion already working as a press intern for the Bloomberg administration. So a Swedish medical patent magnate has his foundation co-fund a Bloomberg Philanthropies project; a relative works as a press intern for Bloomberg's New York City Department of Health. This is Bloomberg's New York.

  Since maternal health IS the fifth UN Millennium Development Goal, one wanted to ask what Bloomberg thinks should help with the MDGs (or SDGs) in 2015, when he will no longer be mayor. But only two questions were allowed, then Bloomberg followed Ban Ki-moon in leaving.

  Footnote: After Bloomberg left, his Twitter account if not he himself pitched the program to @NickKristof, who wrote in Sunday's New York Times about the Bangladesh and Sheikh Hasina "Hurting Women" -- gleaned at the Clinton Global Initiative -- without even mentioning the turning back of the Rohingyas from Myanmar.

  This too is Bloomberg's, and Kristof's, New York. But should it be the UN's?

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