EU bluntly criticises US handling of pandemic

Sallie Anderson

The EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell has actually assaulted US handling of the pandemic, stating it was putting lives at threat.

“American leadership has been weak. They were not at all prepared to face the problem and now they are seeing the consequences,” Borrell informed MEPs in Brussels by videoconference on Monday (20 April).

“Blaming China is not the solution,” Borrell added, after US president Donald Trump spoke of “Chinese flu” and declared cover-ups.

Trump’s “personal attacks” on the head of the World Health Organisation (WHO) as being “a kind of Chinese agent”, was likewise incorrect, Borrell stated.

” This is not the method to handle issues which big international organizations [such as the WHO] might have and this is not the time to do it … This is not an excellent way of combating the pandemic,” the EU’s leading diplomat stated.

The US is the brand-new global epicentre of coronavirus, with nearly 800,000 validated infections in the middle of larger allegations of bad management by Trump.

On The Other Hand, US financial sanctions on Iran and Venezuela were making matters worse by obstructing humanitarian products for people in “unbearable” conditions, Borrelladded


There were indicated to be derogations.

However “not even that isclear Not even that. And when I talk with [US secretary of state] Mike Pompeo he states: ‘Yes. Humanitarian help can go through’. People do not think him. The most essential financial organizations do not wish to participate in this trade,” Borrell stated.

He spoke ahead of a virtual EU foreign ministers fulfilling on Wednesday.

The ministers will go over how the pandemic is forming worldaffairs They will likewise focus on disputes in Libya and Ukraine and go over Turkey relations.

If it spread out there,

Borrell duplicated concerns the infection might rebound to Europe from Africa.

“We need them to succeed because otherwise, we will never be safe. Africa has to succeed and we will not be safe until everyone is safe,” he stated.

Europe had 40 more physicians per capita than the African average, he kept in mind, while food cycle interruptions there might see”more people dying of hunger than from disease”


On The Other Hand, the EU would need to minimize reliance on foreign products of medical basics, Borrell stated.

“Europe does not make one pill of paracetamol,” he stated, describing an anti-fever drug.

Some 80 percent of its prescription antibiotics were made in China and 70 percent of protective equipment was made overseas, Borrell stated, including:”This is going to change”


With transatlantic bonds fraying, China and Russia had actually stepped up their propaganda projects to contend for impact on the world phase, Borrell stated.

“We are engaged in a battle of narratives about which is the best political system … this will shape the geopolitical landscape after the crisis,” he stated.

However Europe was stopping working to inform its story, Borrell kept in mind.

“With all my heart, it almost made me cry to see the European flag being burned in Italy,” he informed MEPs, describing Italian demonstrations in March versus absence of EU uniformity.

EU organizations had actually assisted to repatriate 500,000 Europeans who had actually been stranded overseas, however nobody understood about it, Borrell stated.

Chinese medical help to Serbia, an EU augmentation prospect, triggered signboards in Belgrade “thanking brother Xi, who was the only one to help us”, Borrell stated – describing Chinese president Xi Jinping.

However “I never saw a billboard saying thank you to the European Union,” Borrell added, after the EU offered Serbia EUR3.6 bn in currenttimes


Disputes flaring

And disputes in the EU area were deepening as diplomacy stayed in lockdown, Borrell cautioned.

“None of the old problems have gone away. In fact, they’re getting worse,” he stated. “Fighting in Libya has started again, more fiercely than ever,” he kept in mind.

Hundreds of surges and little arms ceasefire infractions, leading to a civilian death, likewise called out throughout the contact line with Russian forces in east Ukraine last weekend, according to international screens from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

The coronavirus pandemic, which had actually put half of mankind under lockdown, was a first inhistory


However “who understands what’s going to occur [afterward]?,” Borrell stated on Monday.

“In the past, 100 years ago, when we had the so-called Spanish flu, when 50m people died, the world was not a better place afterward. On the contrary, the world went to war,” he stated, describing WW2.

“We have to de-escalate geopolitical tensions,” he stated.

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