A global Covid-19 inquiry is needed to fight this together and not to play the blame game

Contributed by Joe Montero

The propaganda machine has been busy in Australia. Propping up Scott Morrison’s so-called global leadership, demanding an inquiry into China causing the Covid-19 outbreak. The number of countries claimed to back Scott Morrison varied from 60 to 160. The propaganda machine has pilloried China, for having the gall to object taking part in what it sees as a kangaroo court.

Yes, there is a desire in the global community to find out more about how the virus started and transmits, so as to protect people better in the future. But this cannot happen through a politicised process aimed at point scoring in a diplomatic war, instead of genuinely looking for solutions.

The question here is not argument about a social system, but the more immediate need to overcome a serious health threat to everyone without exception.

Those who can’t respect this, lack the basic decency to put lives on top of the list of priorities.

A proper investigation must be carried out. It is needed. But it must be objective, unbiased, properly represent all parties, and rely on scientific evidence and professionalism to be of any use, in tracking the progress of the virus and building the capacity to tackle Covid-19 more effectively.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been an obstacle, rather than helping to bring this about.

His demand for an inquiry that punishes China, came straight out of a telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump, where he received the ‘request’ to act as the messenger for the White House.

Trump is the man who has launched a series of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories, comes out with ludicrous suggestions like the one about people injecting disinfectant as a cure, and has made a thorough mess of the situation at home. The United States leads the world in the number of infections and deaths.

Despite the accusations, China is not the most important issue here. Far more important is that the world must come together, for a joint effort to overcome a shared serious health crisis, learn how to deal with Covid-19 in a much better way, and to be better prepared for future pandemics.

China’s open support for a proper and unbiased investigation, without finger pointing and aimed at real solutions, should be welcomed. Other differences should not get in the way. All nations should put down the cudgels and focus on overcoming a shared foe.

President Xi told an online meeting of the United Nation’s World Health Organisation (WHO) representing 194 countries the following:

“China supports the idea of a comprehensive review of the global response to COVID-19 after it is brought under control to sum up experience and address deficiencies. This work should be based on science and professionalism, led by WHO and conducted in an objective and impartial manner.”

Leaders speak at the opening of the virtual meeting of the World Health Organisation

Video from the World Health Organization (WHO)

The full text of China’s President Xi Jinping’s speech is available at this link.

Some are mischievously calling this a back down. This doesn’t help. No evidence that China ever opposed any proper investigation has come to light bin any case. Xi’s speech outlined some concrete proposals.

It clears the way for unity and the possibility of progress. This is what matters. Progress can take place within the framework of the United Nations, which despite all its faults, remains the most representative global body in existence.

The world has made it clear that it supports this. Australia’s submission, stripped of its accusatory part has been accepted for discussion. This also provides opportunity for a joint approach.

The risk is of course, is that further attempts might still be made to politicise the process. All nations must refrain from doing this. Everyone knows that the crisis is far from over, and we sink or swim in it together. Australia must play its own positive role.

The current world map of infections from DMCA (below) shows concentration in Europe and North America. But it remains a global crisis.

Scientific evidence so far says that this has been a naturally occurring virus from the corona strain, which has been around for a while and subject to a series of natural mutations. Covid-19 itself has undergone its own mutations in a short time.

Finding Covid-19’s real source would help fill in some of the missing gaps. It would help with the development of the immunisation of populations, and assist in better preparation against future threats of this type.

It is time to allow the researchers and practitioners of the front line to do their job and provide the lead out of the health crisis.

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