Medical experts wanted to recommend travel bans for nations to help stop the spread of the Chinese coronavirus in the early days of the pandemic. World Health Organization (WHO) bureaucrats stopped them from making those recommendations.
A report by Australia’s Sky News revealed that on January 30, WHO bureaucrats met with a group of doctors and medical experts to discuss a response to the coronavirus, which at the time was spreading from Wuhan, China, to nations like the United States, Italy, Iran, and South Korea. The report is based on the meeting’s official records.
The WHO bureaucrats met with the experts in Geneva, Switzerland, and successfully stopped them from suggesting travel bans as a life-saving solution to stop the spread of the coronavirus.
Sky News digital editor Jack Houghton said in an on-air report:
[WHO] actually decided not to go ahead with [travel ban recommendations] and not declare a global health emergency but there were a few dissenting voices. So the official meeting records say there was a divergence of views but they won’t actually go into detail about who was trying to block it. But there were doctors there who wanted to issue travel bans and the World Health Organization blocked it.
In early and late February, while thousands of coronavirus cases were confirmed across the world, WHO bureaucrats continuously urged nations not to impose travel bans.
“WHO continues to advise against the application of travel or trade restrictions to countries experiencing COVID-19 outbreaks,” an official WHO statement from February 29 reads.
Despite WHO bureaucrats stopping the experts from recommending travel bans to nations looking to keep the coronavirus from spreading, President Trump moved forward with travel bans on China and Iran within weeks of the first confirmed case in the U.S.
About a month later, Trump issued a travel ban on Europe after the nation’s leading medical experts said the coronavirus was primarily being spread due to European travel. Specifically, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said the travel bans were critical to fighting the coronavirus.
“I believe we would be in a worse position,” Fauci told congressional lawmakers on March 11 when asked what position the U.S. would have been in if not for Trump’s travel bans.
A study by experts at Mount Sinai states that New York City’s record-high coronavirus cases and deaths are “predominately” due to travel from Europe.
As Breitbart News reported, Australia implemented similar life-saving immigration restrictions despite the opposition of WHO bureaucrats. Australia moved relatively quickly to ban travel from China regardless of WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu claiming such bans would “unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade.”
John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.