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Australia Stayed Ahead of Pandemic by Ignoring ‘Politicised’ WHO on China Travel Ban

Members of Australia’s governing coalition have given tacit backing to U.S. President Donald Trump’s move to defund the World Health Organization (WHO), saying their country’s own situation would be a lot worse if they had not ignored the “politicised” UN agency’s advice to allow travel from China in the pandemic’s early stages.

Australia, like the United States, moved relatively quickly to ban travel from China — despite its heavy dependence on trade with the communist dictatorship — regardless of WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu claiming such bans would “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade” and should not be implemented.

“The WHO has been glacially slow in its decision-making,” said Andrew Hastie, a veteran of the Special Air Service (SAS) and a member of Australia’s federal parliament for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party — roughly analogous to the Conservative Party in the United Kingdom or the Republican Party in the United States, despite the name — in comments to the Australian edition of the Daily Mail.

“When Beijing shut down travel from Hubei to the rest of China on January 23 — but strangely not from Hubei to the rest of the world — why didn’t the WHO act decisively then?” he asked.

“It could’ve prevented the mass global exportation of Covid-19 then by declaring a pandemic and alerting governments around the world of the danger ahead. Closing borders then could’ve saved lives and a lot of economic hardship,” he suggested.
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