As citizens in the United States and Canada chafe at the fascist restrictions imposed on them by their governments because of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic, let us think back to how we got ourselves into this mess.
On January 30, World Health Director General Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said, “There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade” as he declared COVID-19 a Public Health Emergency of International Concern.
That is the official view of the WHO – don’t ban travel.
Most public health officials aligned and/or associated with the WHO share this view.
As stated by a group public health officials in The Lancet on February 2:
“…(T)he bans on travel from China, instituted by countries such as the USA, violated the International Health Regulations (IHR), a pact on collective action, which says that health measures implemented by countries “shall not be more restrictive of international traffic and not more invasive or intrusive to persons than reasonably available alternatives.””
That’s same stand that Canada’s chief public health officer Dr. Theresa Tam took and whose advice guided the federal government’s response to the growing pandemic.
From the WHO’s perspective, member states and signatories to the IHR should be focusing on preparing their health systems for a pandemic and on disease surveillance.
Try to contain your laughter.
Anyone with a lick of common sense is going to counter with the simple observation that if you do not let in people who are infected you will avoid the worst of any pandemic.
The evidence for this is staring us in the face.
Why, for example, is New York the epicenter of the pandemic in the United States?
One word, travel.
New York receives the most Chinese travelers of any city. More than 65 million Chinese tourists and businessmen visit the city annually.
In comparison, California, which has been lauded for its low death rate, receives a mere 1.2 million.
In other West Coast cities, travel from China is below 200,000 per year.
New York also has the largest percentage of enclave of Chinese in North America, mostly congregated in Queens.
As I wrote some time ago, you can predict the severity of disease’s progress by simply looking at the connection between hot spots and China.
Why public health officials cannot understand this is beyond me.
After all, we’ve known for hundreds of years that quarantining works in stopping the spread of disease.
This is why there is so much anger being directed at public health officials, the WHO and China. China lied about when this coronavirus emerged and when it started spreading. The WHO aided and abetted the Chinese. That cost us precious weeks in which to act.
This coronavirus was allowed to circulate around the world in December. Those cities and countries with the highest number of Chinese visitors became epicenters of the pandemic.
What is so hard to understand about that?
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