Ex-UK PM questions Trump’s leadership over COVID-19 crisis

LONDON, Dec. 14, 2018 (Xinhua) — Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair delivers a speech on Brexit in an event in London, Britain, on Dec. 14, 2018. Tony Blair, a strong supporter of Britain remaining in the EU, said in a speech Friday there would soon be a majority in the British parliament for a second referendum on EU membership. (Xinhua/IANS)

London, May 26 (IANS) Former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair questioned US President Donald Trump’s leadership over the “terrifying” novel coronavirus pandemic and expressed concerns about the lack of global coordination in tackling the health crisis.

“The worry I have that an absence of global coordination and global leadership that’s necessary for it is a huge problem,” the Daily Mail on Monday quoted Blair as saying, citing his recent interview with NBC News.

Blair, who served from 1997 to 2007 as Prime Minister, said it was important to bring the world together when facing the pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

With “global coordination”, Blair said leaders could find a vaccine together, accelerate the development of therapeutics and testing capability, and organize economic measures to keep the international economy afloat, the Daily Mail reported.

“It’s that global coordination, the absence of which means that each individual country’s less effective at dealing with the disease. That’s the thing that worries me,” he said.

Blair said in Western countries people are well-informed about the disease but not sufficiently informed about the economic collapse it could trigger.

“The safest thing for any political leader to do is just keep the lockdown because the risk of COVID-19 spreading is going to be minimal, but on the other hand if you’re looking responsibly into how you get through this into the medium term without the economic wreckage being absolutely devastated,” he was quoted by the newspaper as saying.

“The countries that locked down fast and that are building, testing, tracing and tracking capability fast, that then enables you to be more bold on the economy,” he said in the interview with NBC.

Balir’s comments come as the US was reaching a grim milestone of 100,000 COVID-19 deaths.

Currently, the country has 1,662,302 confirmed cases and 98,218 deaths, both tallies account for the highest in the world, according to the Johns Hopkins University.

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