HOT ON THE HEELS of yesterday’s provocative discussion on the Ebola crisis — and the disgusting apparent strategising over it by the ALP — the key health body charged with frontline response to global health threats has candidly admitted it botched the job. It debunks the “compassionate” story of the Left that Ebola has ballooned because it didn’t emerge in an affluent country, and smashes key pillars of Labor’s latest despicable intrigue.
It really is a short post from me this morning, and even then just to follow up on yesterday’s poke-the-bear article on the ALP’s truly obscene war-gaming around using Ebola, public panic and deaths from the virus as political tools; very late yesterday it emerged that mine will be a busy weekend indeed — obligations deriving from my “real world” life away from this column — and whilst I will aim to post again later today, it could be overnight. Stay tuned.
The key reason for my post this morning is that an article from AAP and appearing in The Australian today reveals that by its own admission the World Health Organisation, the UN health agency responsible for initiating the response to global health threats, botched the response to the current Ebola outbreak, with its African regional office — in the words of the doctor who helped discover the virus — doing “nothing.”
I leave it to my readers to go through the article attached, and to draw their own conclusions. Where is becomes relevant to our discussion lies in the material we covered yesterday — which showed either an orchestrated campaign to exploit the issue by the ALP for the grubbiest of political expediencies, or a series of stunts that collectively amount to the same thing — and how the admission already puts holes into the “moral” case on which the entire Labor scheme rests.
There has been enormous chatter in the past 24 hours — characterised by opinion writers, international figures and political identities hailing from or friendly to the Left — which has suggested that had the Ebola outbreak occurred outside Africa, the wealthy nations of the West would have rushed headlong to deal with it.
In fact, as we now know, the outbreak was allowed to initially run out of control due to the inactivity and incompetence of the local branch of the WHO itself.
It doesn’t change the fact that there are huge questions over the effectiveness of infection control protocols and even the protective equipment and clothing available to frontline response teams when it comes to this particular virus, and those questions remain unanswered.
But this fact, combined with the revelation that a failure to act allowed the outbreak to escalate beyond control and not the comparatively poor economic standing of the countries in which it originated, destroys arguments fashioned around the “obligation” of the West to respond in the way it might have had the crisis materialised in one of its own countries — which, as we now know, it wouldn’t have.
In fact, had WHO in Africa done the job mandated of it, this Ebola outbreak would probably have fizzled out with relatively few deaths just like every other outbreak of the virus has to date.
I also note that over the past day, whilst there has been little comment around the apparent political strategy Labor is trying to pursue over Ebola, sudden and sharp condemnation of its proposals to swamp West Africa with aid workers and resources to “stop the outbreak at its source” — with all of those questions earlier unresolved — has been widespread.
The “compassion” argument of the Left — a patrician condescension of “poor little Africa” made from an arrogated position of self-superiority — is thus exploded: the West is not responsible for the ravages of the Ebola menace that is wreaking havoc on Africa at a rapidly quickening pace.
That is not to say the Africans should be left to deal with their own misfortune: far from it.
But whilst I’m the first person to agree that dealing with the problem is extremely urgent, we now have hard evidence that not only did the Ebola virus get the jump on global authorities, it was given a head start: and that lead, whilst placing attempts to contain it under great compromise, only heightens the need for any co-ordinated response to nail the problem on the first attempt.
Perversely, it may well be that the best approach is to wait before deploying a co-ordinated counterpunch: with infection rates spiralling exponentially now, it is absolutely critical that all of the question marks and uncertainties around how to deal with this problem are resolved before attempting to do so in any systemic fashion.
In turn, it just highlights how dangerous what Labor is proposing really is — not that it makes any difference to the charade, the disgraceful quest for votes by the implicit personalisation of a global health threat and lobbing it at the Prime Minister’s feet, that Labor is really seeking to engage in.
The “urgency” of sending large numbers of unprepared and vulnerable Australians into the epicentre of it as quickly as possible, as Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek now enthusiastically advocate, is a dangerously irresponsible indulgence that should be ignored.
With a little more time later in the weekend, I will be back.