How Australia defied global health authority on coronavirus, by Peter Hartcher.
“With the ongoing China travel ban, I’m very sympathetic about the impact on tourism and farmers, but I’m much less so with the universities,” [Liberal senator from Victoria, James Paterson] began. “Because they have been warned for years that they are over-reliant on the Chinese market, and for years they’ve reassured us that it was all fine, and that if anything happened they’d be able to withstand it. They rode the cycle up, now they can ride the cycle down.”
The universities receive $17 billion a year in federal cash already. Paterson said they should be given this opportunity to show they could indeed withstand the lost income. Addressing Scott Morrison, Paterson concluded: “We shouldn’t relax the travel ban, and there should be no financial bail-out for the universities.”
Canberra lumbers along in PC world:
Medical advice goes to the policymakers in the National Security Committee of the federal cabinet, and this is where the politicians get involved. The NSC is chaired by the Prime Minister. This is where decisions are made and action taken. Or not.
The medical officers’ “pandemic” call was a big moment. For a start, they were way ahead of the UN body that is supposedly the lead global agency on international health emergencies, the Geneva-based World Health Organisation.
Why were the Australians ahead of the world? For a very simple reason. They don’t trust the WHO. The information from multiple international sources is that the WHO is under intense pressure from the Chinese government, and succumbing to it.
The Australian Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy, told the NSC that it was medically inexplicable that the WHO hadn’t already declared a global pandemic. It’s politics, in other words.
That’s why Australia had earlier forged ahead of the WHO in declaring the China travel ban, on February 1. It was, again, on the unanimous advice of the AHPPC.
The travel ban was decided immediately after the US made the same call. Beijing instantly lashed both the US and Australia on that occasion – the Chinese Communist Party’s official mouthpiece, People’s Daily, calling it “racist”.
But, of course, that decision now looks very wise, more so with each passing day.
If you read this blog, you are well ahead of Canberra on all this.
Now consider carefully, because we are running out of time.
Choice 1: Impose a complete travel ban on coming to Australia. Visitors are allowed in only after a two week quarantine:
Safe. Universities miss out on some income. Tourism from overseas is already dead. Australia functions mostly as pretty much as normal, because there is no coronavirus and any that is here already can probably be contained. Open the borders again when there is a vaccine. No Australians killed by the virus.
Choice 2: Keep borders open , allow people in:
Australia catches the coronavirus. Most people get it, maybe 80%. At ten times deadlier than flu (the prevailing consensus at government level), which is about 0.15%. On the current stats outside of China, the mortality rate is apparently between 1% and 2% — if hospital care is available. If it’s only 1%, it will kill 200,000 Australians. If it is 2%, then 400,000 Australians will die of the virus. But of course these numbers will overwhelm the hospitals in this coming winter, so the death rates will be higher. All schools will shut down, so all current school children waste a year and start jobs/career, etc a year later. Massive disruption to Australian life. Production wilts. Seen those pictures of lockdown coming out of China?
Pretty simple choice. Think those overpaid incompetent bureaucrats in Canberra, under pressure from lobbying Chinese and universities, will make the right decision? They haven’t so far. There isn’t even any talk of closing the borders appearing in the media. (Is it banned, under our soft censorship?)
How much are lives of half a million Australians worth? Sort of dwarfs a bit of lost income, doesn’t it? Come on Canberra, you know how to use a calculator.
The virus can’t walk in by itself. It comes on planes and boats.
Please pass this on.