"Closing the border would yield only very marginal benefits," Napolitano told the Senate on Wednesday. "At the same time, closing the border has very high costs." Aha: benefits versus costs. What did Napolitano mean? Such costs, as she told NBC, include the "thousands of trucks and lots of commerce that cross that border." Does that mean that blocking the path to market for, say, Mexican-grown strawberries isn't worth the "very marginal benefits" of potentially saving American lives? Chilling thought.
The World Health Organization, as of this writing, isn't issuing travel advisories to affected areas for similar non-health reasons. "Border controls do not work. Travel restrictions do not work," WHO spokesman Gregory Hartl insisted early in the week, as reported by Fox News. Referring to the 2003 SARS outbreak, during which WHO actively discouraged nonessential travel to cities including Hong Kong, Beijing and Toronto -- a move, Fox notes, that world health experts say "sharply cut the spread of SARS"-- Hartl added: "There was much more economic disruption caused by these measures than there was public health benefit."
This is getting downright creepy. In whose opinion was there more "economic disruption" than "public health benefit" -- the people who didn't fall victim to SARS or the people who mourned temporarily lower profits? And why does what is ostensibly a global health organization weigh the bottom line more than, well, global health? It seems that our leaders, both domestic and global, are attaching greater importance to potentially lost revenue than to potentially lost people.
WHO Director-General Margaret Chan let it all hang out: "By definition, pandemic influenza will move around the world. ... Does that mean we are going to bring the world's economy to a standstill?" Nice bedside manner, that. Little wonder China, certainly a proponent of keeping the world's economy moving, "extended full support" when Chan was a candidate to lead WHO.
Of course, when it comes to the U.S.-Mexican border, there's probably a deeper, more psychological reason it remains open: Our government doesn't want to close it, not for anything. George W. Bush didn't want to secure the border, not even to stop terrorist incursions or illegal immigration, and Barack H. Obama doesn't want to secure the border, not even to stop terrorist incursions, illegal immigration, drug cartel violence or what is being billed as the 21st century plague. It might set a dangerous precedent. It might demonstrate to citizens of both countries that the United States is capable of controlling its borders. To the globalists and amnesty proponents of the past and present administrations, that is the scariest prospect of all, scarier even the prospect of the great flu pandemic of 2009.