Tuesday , May 26 2020
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The WHO is both stupid and immoral

Summary:
Update:  On second thought, the post should have been entitled “This WHO official is both stupid and immoral”.  I didn’t mean to suggest that everyone who works at the WHO falls into that category. The video where a WHO official refuses to mention the word “Taiwan” has gone viral. The immorality of his action is obvious.  Less obvious is the stupidity.  You might think that he caved in to China’s demand that the WHO not recognize Taiwan.  But China does not demand that people refuse to recognize the existence of Taiwan.  Indeed China itself recognizes Taiwan, as a province of China.  (As does Taiwan’s constitution.)  People talk about Taiwan all the time in China.  The weather reports I used to watch on Beijing TV show forecasts for each provincial capital city, including

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Update:  On second thought, the post should have been entitled “This WHO official is both stupid and immoral”.  I didn’t mean to suggest that everyone who works at the WHO falls into that category.

The video where a WHO official refuses to mention the word “Taiwan” has gone viral.

The immorality of his action is obvious.  Less obvious is the stupidity.  You might think that he caved in to China’s demand that the WHO not recognize Taiwan.  But China does not demand that people refuse to recognize the existence of Taiwan.  Indeed China itself recognizes Taiwan, as a province of China.  (As does Taiwan’s constitution.)  People talk about Taiwan all the time in China.  The weather reports I used to watch on Beijing TV show forecasts for each provincial capital city, including Taipei.  The Chinese don’t act like Taiwan doesn’t exit; they officially regard it as just another province of China.  All the WHO official had to do is say, “The Chinese province of Taiwan has done a very fine job in controlling the epidemic.”  What a dummy.

And then there’s this:

On Jan. 14, the World Health Organization sent a tweet that turned out to be one of the most significant statements in the world’s fight against the virus now known as Covid-19. Based on information from China, the global health agency wrote, the new coronavirus didn’t appear to spread via human-to-human transmission.

Two weeks earlier, health authorities in Taiwan had reached the opposite conclusion. Not only did Taiwan’s Centers for Disease Control surmise that people were passing the disease to each other, they notified the WHO of their suspicions through the UN agency’s International Health Regulations reporting window, a platform for sharing information and updates.

“We tried to get clarification from the IHR on what’s going on in Wuhan,” Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu told me. “But the response from the WHO was, ‘OK, we’ll take it from here.’” The Taiwanese never heard back.

BTW, the epidemic is finally slowing in Europe, and there are even a few signs that the curve might be beginning to bend in the US.  This is a very positive sign:

Austria has set out plans to become the first country in Europe to ease its lockdown against the coronavirus pandemic, with shops due to reopen as early as next week.

The WHO is both stupid and immoral

I’d expect the following from the GOP.  But the Democrats?

“We are concerned that Treasury Department’s recent guidance on the ‘Airline Industry Payroll Support’ Program does not fully reflect the intent of Congress,” they wrote in the letter, which also was signed by House Transportation Chairman Peter DeFazio and Sherrod Brown, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Banking Committee.

Pelosi and DeFazio have previously said that demands for airline equity stakes in exchange for the $25 billion in grants designed to save jobs are onerous and could prompt carriers to decline the help.

It’s bad enough that both parties want to throw money at the airlines (more specifically airline stockholders like me), but now the Democrats seem to oppose any provision that would allow taxpayers to claw back some of that reckless spending.

Wouldn’t it be so sad if the airlines refused the $25 billion we were trying to give them.. .


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Scott Sumner
Scott B. Sumner is Research Fellow at the Independent Institute, the Director of the Program on Monetary Policy at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and an economist who teaches at Bentley University in Waltham, Massachusetts. His economics blog, The Money Illusion, popularized the idea of nominal GDP targeting, which says that the Fed should target nominal GDP—i.e., real GDP growth plus the rate of inflation—to better "induce the correct level of business investment".

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