Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t Nick; Orange man bad, even when the problems being discussed happen in another country outside the USA’s sphere of influence.
Pandemic shines harsh light on Trump’s failure to protect pangolins
Wed 15 Apr 2020 20.00 AESTLast modified on Wed 15 Apr 2020 20.02 AEST
Wildlife conservation efforts are essential to preventing outbreaks, scientists and advocates say
For more than five years, wildlife conservationists in the US have been clamoring for the government to provide Endangered Species Act protections to pangolins, a group of imperiled ant-eating mammals that are widely, and often illicitly, trafficked for their scales and meat. The Trump administration, however, has refused to act and that refusal has suddenly taken on grave new implications.
Earlier this year, scientists in China identified pangolins, along with bats, as one of the possible animal hosts involved in the transmission of the deadly coronavirus from wildlife to humans.
Although there is still much uncertainty about the nature of the disease’s emergence, the unwillingness of the Trump administration, and the Obama administration before it, to provide legal protections to pangolins, and other species, has intensified scrutiny of America’s faltering role in international wildlife conservation efforts. Scientists and advocates say these are essential to preventing the kind of pandemic currently sweeping the globe.
Though no pangolins live in the US, an endangered species designation could make additional funding available to preserve the species, bolster efforts to crack down on illegal trade and send a powerful signal to the international community that the animals ought to be protected.
“It is not like any one thing would have stopped this pandemic, so you can’t make that generalization,” said Brett Hartl, the government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity. “But if the US were actually a leader in international wildlife conservation like it used to be back in the day and actually took its obligations seriously and was putting real pressure on trafficking and countries like China to stop decimation of pangolins and other species, who knows where we would be today.”
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/apr/15/coronavirus-pangolins-protections-us-trading
Of course if President Trump did try to pass a law aimed at pressuring Chinese wet markets, the Guardian would be first in line to accuse Trump of being an insensitive cultural fascist.
What I find most fascinating about the Guardian story is still not one word of criticism for the incompetent and corrupt Chinese Communists and their spineless President Xi Jinping, even though the animal rights abuses, coverups, lies and mistakes which led to the global Pandemic mostly happened on their watch.