Charles NG Chak Chuen, a youngster from the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, gave a presentation at the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council on Sept 15 as a representative of non-governmental organizations, urging Western countries to value the security of their own citizens.
Having earned a master's degree in public health at Johns Hopkins University, NG now works as a medical doctor in Hong Kong. "The COVID-19 pandemic is a litmus test of the principles of governance," he said. It reflects differences in governance philosophies among countries. When the virus first brought down the healthcare system in Britain and France, Americans bickered for three months about wearing a mask in public places and the argument continues today.
NG further pointed out the reason measures like keeping social distance were so difficult to be implemented in the US is nearly half of Americans opposed any policy that restricted personal freedom. "Personal identity is placed above all else, even at the expense of other human lives."
Experience should be drawn from the pandemic that it is important to ensure the right to food, medicine and life, he concluded.