President Trump says the World Health Organization’s (WHO) attacks on travel bans during the Chinese coronavirus crisis “put political correctness above life-saving measures.”
During a press briefing where he announced a halt to American taxpayers’ funding of the WHO, Trump slammed the group of global medical bureaucrats for their longheld opposition to travel bans in the midst of the coronavirus crisis. He said:
One of the most dangerous and costly decisions from the WHO was its decision to oppose travel restrictions from China and other nations. They were very much opposed to what we did. Fortunately, I was not convinced and suspended travel from China, saving untold numbers of lives — thousands of thousands of people would have died.
Had other nations likewise suspended travel from China, countless more lives would have been saved. Instead, look at the rest of the world, look at parts of Europe, other nations and regions who followed WHO guidelines and kept their borders open to China accelerated the pandemic all around the world. [Emphasis added]
Many countries said they were going to listen to the WHO and they have problems the likes of which they cannot believe — nobody can believe. The decision by other major countries to keep travel open was one of the great tragedies and missed opportunities from the early days. [Emphasis added]
The WHO’s attack on travel restrictions put political correctness above life-saving measures. Travel bans work for the same reason that quarantines work. Pandemics depend on human-to-human transmission. Border control is fundamental to virus control. [Emphasis added]
While the coronavirus wreaked havoc on European nations like Italy through international travel from China, the WHO continued to oppose any and all travel bans to stop the spread of the deadly virus.
In late January, WHO bureaucrats begged nations not to implement travel bans. Instead, globalists said the solution to slowing the coronavirus spread was opening national borders.
Reuters reported on January 31:
There is a ‘huge reason to keep official border crossings open’ to avoid people entering irregularly and going unchecked for symptoms, WHO spokesman Christian Lindmeier told a Geneva briefing. ‘If travel restrictions would be imposed, we hope they are as short-lived as possible to try to continue the normal flow of life.
WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus specifically slammed nations that imposed travel bans to protect their citizens, claiming such life-saving policies are not necessary.
Ghebreyesus said in January:
There is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent. WHO stands ready to provide advice to any country that is considering which measures to take.
While WHO and Democrat presidential candidate Joe Biden have opposed Trump’s travel bans on China, Iran, and Europe to keep asymptomatic international travelers out of the U.S., Americans nearly unanimously support the restrictions — and by a vast majority want a full moratorium on immigration.
A March Pew Research Center survey revealed that 95 percent of Americans said Trump’s travel bans are the most necessary steps that the federal government needed to take to stop the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.
Likewise, nearly 8-in-10 Americans now say that they support a full pause on immigration to the U.S. to stop the spread of the coronavirus. About 70 percent said they support grounding all international flights to the U.S. to stop foreign travel into the country.
In June 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed the president’s control over legal immigration. In Trump v. Hawaii, the court stated that presidents have extraordinarily broad discretion to admit or exclude foreign nationals from the U.S. when they believe doing so is in the national interest.
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.