Democrat Senators Urge UN Security Council Mandates on Coronavirus Crisis

Why did the UN health agency get off to such a poor start?

President Trump is mobilizing an unprecedented all hands-on-deck response to the novel coronavirus 2019. He is using all available instruments of the federal government in order to save American lives, while not destroying the American economy in the process. Meanwhile, several Democrat senators, including Senators Ed Markey and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, decided to waste their time writing a letter on March 20th to President Trump urging him to turn to the United Nations Security Council for help. They asked him to introduce a “resolution to declare pandemics a threat to international peace and security, and require action by member nations to address that threat as soon as the Security Council reconvenes.”

The coronavirus is a mortal threat to life all over the world. Given its failed record on a host of issues squarely within its jurisdiction, the UN Security Council is totally useless in dealing with this health threat or its ramifications - whenever it decides to reconvene. Yet the senators writing the letter to President Trump stupidly think that the president should look to the Security Council to “establish binding commitments for UN member nations to align their health preparedness frameworks with best international practices.” Do they have China's practices in mind? 

The resolution, the letter said, “should affirm the responsibility of all UN Member States to protect refugees and asylum seekers, international displaced persons (IDPs), and the food insecure — all of whose circumstances leave them especially vulnerable to pandemics.” Markey, Warren and their fellow Democrat senators want the Security Council to “mandate a global giving campaign to approved UN aid organizations or host governments whose people or hosted populations are already suffering from acute need.” These senators’ job is to get as much relief as is needed as soon as possible to the American people who are suffering the effects of the virus through no fault of their own. We don’t need any UN resolutions to “establish binding commitments" or to "mandate" another plan for global wealth redistribution to unaccountable entities.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is the specialized agency of the United Nations that is supposed to be responsible for international public health. It got off to a very bad start dealing with the novel coronavirus 2019 outbreak. Taking at face value information from China, the origin of the outbreak, WHO went along with China’s initial refusal to even admit human to human contamination. WHO delayed declaring the coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern” until January 30 – waiting a full month after the first case of the virus was reported on December 31.

An Emergency Committee was convened by the WHO Director-General to address the crisis. The committee stated on January 30 that it “welcomed the leadership and political commitment of the very highest levels of Chinese government, their commitment to transparency, and the efforts made to investigate and contain the current outbreak.” The Chinese Communist Party might as well have written such propaganda. We know that China’s delay in coming clean about the virus and refusing to accept help from foreign government health specialists contributed greatly to the spread of the virus.

Relying on advice from the Emergency Committee, WHO’s Director-General issued his set of “Temporary Recommendations” on January 30th, which “does not recommend any travel or trade restriction based on the current information available.” Fortunately, President Trump did not listen to that nonsensical portion of WHO’s advice. He instituted very tight restrictions on travel from China into the United States on January 31. Joe Biden condemned the decision as "hysterical xenophobia." A few days later, the president expanded the travel restrictions to six additional countries. Elizabeth Warren, one of the signatories to the letter to President Trump urging him to get the Security Council involved, accused President Trump of expanding “his racist, xenophobic Muslim Ban.” She added, “Congress must pass the NO BAN Act.” Of course, President Trump did not listen to such nonsense either. He later extended the restrictions to travel from Europe, including the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Contrary to WHO’s initial recommendation against imposing travel restrictions and the Democrats’ carping, Dr. Anthony Fauci praised President Trump’s travel restrictions. "One of the things we did right was very early cut off travel from China to the United States," he said. He called President Trump’s action "the right public health call."

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO’s current Director-General, has gone out of his way not to offend China. “Tedros’ permanent and forceful endorsement of Chinese actions throughout the crisis has, of course, created a counter-reaction: the organization itself is now accused of having missed the opportunity to forestall a global pandemic,” AFP reported. Now WHO is claiming that the United States could become the new epicenter of the coronavirus pandemic. If WHO had done its job in the first place, rather than rely on the Chinese government’s talking points, Americans in all likelihood would not be facing that dire prospect today.

Even one of the UN's leading specialized agencies that has relevant expertise in the health field proved to be incapable of successfully addressing an international crisis with significant geopolitical implications when it might have been able to do some good. The Security Council would be completely useless in having anything to do with the pandemic and its consequences. President Trump should disregard the Democrat senators’ foolish letter urging him to turn to the Security Council for a solution. His job as president of the United States is to first take care of the well-being of the American people. Period.