Tory MP Liam Fox appeared on Sky News's Sophy Ridge on Sunday this morning to discuss the pandemic and the UK's situation, but decided to focus on China instead.

He was asked about comments made by figures including President Trump that questions need to be asked about China's response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Fox began his monologue by repeating Trump talking points about trade disputes with China for "stealing intellectual property".

He then pivots to the pandemic, saying:

China seems to have been aware since mid-November that there was a new virus, but it didn't inform the World Health Organisation until the end of December. They also knew that human-to-human transmission was possible in December, but were still denying it in January. 

International research suggests that if China had taken action between one and three weeks earlier, then the number of cases would have been reduced by somewhere between 65 and 95 per cent.

He went on to accuse the Chinese Communist Party of "repression and denial" of the facts surrounding coronavirus.

While there has been widespread criticism of China's handling of the outbreak, which originated in Wuhan, many were confused as to why a UK minister was focussing on this, as opposed to what our own government has (or hasn't) done to contain the outbreak.

Many pointed out the hypocrisy of accusing China of not taking the outbreak seriously enough in its original stages, given the UK has been accused of this exact error.

And even if all the information had been available earlier, would the UK have acted any differently?

He was also accused of trying to "distract" from the failings of the British government, including Prime Minister Boris Johnson's own actions.

People also pointed out the parallel with Trump's strategy of trying to deflect all blame to his government by going in on China instead.

But there is always someone else to blame if you look hard enough.

The UK – while having exactly the same information as everywhere else outside of China – currently has the highest Covid-19 death toll in Europe and the second highest in the world, surpassed only by the US.

Please log in or register to upvote this article
The Conversation (0)