Several voices, mine included, have predicted that the COVID-19 pandemic will be a boon to populists and economic nationalists everywhere. Heightened concerns over migration, border security, Chinese imports, and the outsourcing of antibiotics and other generic pharmaceuticals will drown, politically at least, the globalist argument for fluid national borders, more immigration, refugee resettlement, free trade, and foreign imports.
Other voices disagree. In the past week, the Wall Street Journal prominently featured the enlightening essay, “The end of globalization? Don’t count on it,” by author Zachary Karabell, as well as the insightful column, “Will coronavirus kill populism?” by the newspaper’s foreign policy commentator, Walter Russell Read. On March 26th, former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown called on world leaders to create a new order by forming a temporary global government to tackle the medical and economic crises caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Regardless of the eventual geopolitical fallout, one prominent globalist institution has tangibly demonstrated an inability to fulfill its pivotal mission during this crisis. The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations’ public health agency, has a mandate to establish global health policy, coordinate global responses to health emergencies, and combat disease. As detailed by The Times of London, during these unprecedented times, “The task of the WHO is to inform and warn an increasingly anxious global public, then to co-ordinate a response, mobilize resources and find a way forward.”
However, under the abysmal ‘leadership’ of Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO has actually contributed to the global spread and severity of the novel coronavirus that causes the COVID-19 infection. The WHO’s glaringly catastrophic failure to fulfill its mission stems from an institutional witches’ brew of political bias, complacency, incompetence, irrationality, and political correctness.