JOHN FELDSTED -- Trudeau continues to believe in UN multilateral institutions, but most Canadians do not
Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO
HUFFPOST (May 19th, 2020) -- Canada Will ‘Continue to Support’ WHO Despite Trump Pressure, Trudeau Says. The U.S. president is threatening to permanently cut funding to the U.N. agency.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Canada will “continue to support” the World Health Organization (WHO) as the agency again finds itself in the crosshairs of U.S. President Donald Trump over its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Speaking to reporters in Ottawa Tuesday, Trudeau was asked to respond to Trump’s threat, issued in an open letter to WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and posted online Monday, to permanently cut U.S. funding to WHO unless the agency commits to “substantive improvements” in the next 30 days...
What U.S. President Trump does is not relevant to our analysis of the World Health Organization (WHO). Our support has to be based on cost balanced against value.
Why would Canada continue to support the UN World Health Organization? The WHO has done nothing to alleviate or mitigate coronavirus spread and suffering. In late January, February and early March, the WHO was advising against banning international travel despite knowing the virus was spread by infected travellers.
In mid March, the WHO advised that coronavirus was a pandemic.
Most of the civilized world was aware of that weeks earlier.
Then we were advised to self-isolate and distance from others.
Now the WHO wants us to test, test, test, test. Why? These fools are going on about a “second wave” of infections when the first wave fizzled. Infections came nowhere close to “best case” predictions.
Trudeau continues to believe in UN multilateral institutions, but most Canadians do not. We need to choose our friends carefully. Only about 12% of the UN members are true democracies. Another 20% are hybrids. The remaining 68% want us to sharply increase our foreign aid.
We should be generous to those who have less, based on two conditions.
First, our economy must be robust and our public debt low. Charity begins at home. We take care of our own first.
Second, our foreign aid must reach the people it is intended for. Nations where foreign aid falls into the hands of government officials or bandits (who may be the same people) are off limits. Our fishes are for the people, not for the sharks who control them.
You may recall that very recently US President Trump tried to block the 3M company (owned by China) from filling Canadian orders for medical masks although the pulp used to make the masks comes from Canada. That, in a nutshell, is the value of multilateral institutions. They are mostly a venue for world leaders to gather and hobnob at public expense but useless in a crisis.
The current virus crisis has shown us that borders will slam shut, our freedoms will be ignored and even within Canada, different jurisdictions isolate and compete.
The spirits of collaboration and cooperation in the face of a common enemy are hanging from a lamp post, twisting in the wind. The veneer of civilization is thin, fragile, and easily shattered in the face of a threat.
John Feldsted ... is a political commentator, consultant, and strategist. He makes his home in Winnipeg, Manitoba