As debate in the United States rages surrounding the Ebola quarantines implemented in New York, Illinois, and New Jersey last week for health workers returning from West Africa, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon once again injected the United Nations and himself into the discussion — and into domestic U.S. affairs, part of an accelerating trend that has analysts sounding the alarm. Suggesting that the controversial quarantine policies announced on October 24 by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo were inappropriate, the UN boss called for Ebola measures based on “science” instead.
Ban is “concerned” by the quarantines of travelers from Ebola-stricken countries implemented in “several countries and localities,” according to an October 27 statement by the spokesman for the UN boss published on the UN website. “He believes that these restrictions have put particular pressure on health care workers and those who have been on the frontline of the Ebola response,” the spokesman said. “Returning health workers are exceptional people who are giving of themselves for humanity. They should not be subjected to restrictions that are not based on science.”
As a career bureaucrat, it was not clear how Ban determined whether or not the restrictions in New York, Illinois, or New Jersey were based on what he called “science.” The UN boss also “reiterated” that “the best way for any country to protect itself from Ebola is to stop the outbreak at its source in West Africa.” It was also not immediately clear what qualifications the UN boss might have to know the “best way” of protecting a nation from Ebola, or anything else. Considering the global outfit’s dismal track record on “science” and other issues — particularly imploding global-warming theories aimed at taxing the “gas of life” CO2 (73 out of 73 UN climate models were wrong) — his comments did not inspire confidence.
“Those who develop infections should be supported, not stigmatized,” the UN boss’ spokesman continued in the brief statement attacking quarantine efforts, which have also stirred major opposition in the United States. “This requires considerable international health care worker support and in return for this support, we have an obligation to look after them.” Other UN bureaucrats, apparently reading from a similar script, echoed the statements made by Ban’s spokesman in interviews with establishment media outlets.
“Decisions (on quarantine) should be based on science and fact and not hype and hysteria and decisions should be taken in a way that will promote the most rapid, effective response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa possible,” said Anthony Banbury, who is leading the UN “Ebola Emergency Response Mission” (UNMEER), in an interview with Reuters. “Anything that will dissuade foreign trained personnel from coming here to West Africa and joining us on the frontline to fight the fight would be very, very unfortunate.”
Ironically, while the UN purports to be concerned about mandatory quarantines in some American states, its own World Health Organization (WHO) was helping coordinate the military-enforced quarantines of entire villages in Africa. In Sierra Leone, one of the worst-hit nations, police and soldiers urged on by the self-styled “global health authorities” used guns to enforce a three-day order prohibiting people from leaving their own homes. The WHO also purports to have massive powers to control humanity if the controversial bureaucracy — its decision-making body is currently controlled by the Communist regime enslaving Cuba — claims to be fighting an epidemic.
In addition to wildly inappropriate meddling by the UN — its own charter specifically prohibits intervention in the domestic affairs of member states — the Obama administration has also been lashing out at state authorities over the quarantines. Warning the governors of “unintended consequences,” the White House also unveiled a new set of “guidelines” supposedly based on science for dealing with potentially infected travelers returning from West Africa. Despite the criticism of the governors, the Obama administration is implementing similar quarantines for U.S. military forces unconstitutionally deployed to West Africa under the guise of fighting Ebola.
Still, the Obama administration stopped short of claiming to have the power to override state governments. “We have a federal system in this country in which states are given significant authority for governing their constituents,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said at a briefing, inaccurately seeming to suggest that the feds give state governments authority rather than the other way around. “That is certainly true when it comes to public safety and public health.”
Aside from constitutional concerns, there are plenty of good reasons to keep the Ebola responses as local as possible. For instance, the fact that Obama’s new “Ebola czar,” a lawyer and lobbyist with no medical experience, believes “growing population” to be the biggest “challenge” for world leaders, has sparked widespread alarm among critics. More than a few experts have also blasted the White House response to Ebola from all angles, even lambasting “President Obola” for policies that critics say put the public at major risk.
By contrast, the governors of the three states that announced quarantine measures defended their efforts as necessary to protect the public following a series of highly publicized Ebola cases in the United States. “The steps New York and New Jersey are taking ... will strengthen our safeguards to protect our residents against this disease and help ensure those that may be infected by Ebola are treated with the highest precautions,” Gov. Cuomo, a controversial Democrat, said about the scheme. The other governors also claimed the mandatory quarantines, which came under fierce criticism after a quarantined nurse complained of “inhumane” treatment, would help keep the public safe.
In addition to the latest round of criticism from the UN, the United States has come under increasing attack from the dictator-dominated organization in recent years. Just last week, a gaggle of self-styled UN “human rights experts” descended on Detroit and called for a national water “affordability standard” to be implemented by the federal government in defiance of the Constitution. In August, UN boss Ban injected himself into the Ferguson debate, calling for local law enforcement officers to abide by what he described as “international standards.” Before that, the UN was meddling in the Trayvon Martin case, demanding investigations even while at least three were ongoing.
Beyond local government issues, the UN is increasingly seeking to control state and federal policy as well, generally acting as if the U.S. Constitution does not or should not exist. Earlier this year, for instance, the UN released a “human rights” screed blasting the gun rights of Americans, the U.S. constitutional system of self-government, laws on immigration, protections for self-defense, discipline of children, and more. The UN has also been demanding that Obama “nullify” state governments’ “stand your ground” laws protecting self-defense rights and state nullification of the UN and federal marijuana prohibition regime. The UN even lashed out at the name of a U.S. sports team while demanding that the United States surrender Mount Rushmore to Native Americans to comply with “international law.”
Of course, there are indeed very valid concerns surrounding the awesome powers that local, state, and federal officials have usurped to supposedly deal with public health — especially when it comes to forcible quarantines without constitutionally required due process of law. From executive orders purporting to authorize forcible detention of “well” persons who do not show symptoms to the use of military resources and personnel in dealing with epidemics to the illegitimate powers to force people to submit to medical “treatments” against their will, Americans ought to be very concerned and extra alert about potential government abuses under the guise of “health.”
However, the UN, widely ridiculed as the “dictators club,” must not be allowed to interfere in domestic policies — on Ebola or anything else. Instead, Congress ought to defund the UN and get the United States out of the organization once and for all.
Photo of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon: AP Images
Alex Newman is a correspondent for The New American magazine, covering economics, education, politics, and more. Follow him on Twitter @ALEXNEWMAN_JOU.