TIRANA – Now isn’t the time for “blame games”, but “a full understanding of the epidemiology of coronavirus will be essential” in future, EU foreign relations chief Josep Borrell said Wednesday, reacting to Australian calls for an inquiry into alleged Chinese cover-ups.
“The priority now has to be saving lives,” Borrell said as quoted by EUobserver on Thursday.
EU states, led by France, were to launch humanitarian “air bridges” to help African states get medical supplies, he added.
Josep Borrell, EU’s top diplomat kept a hardline stance against the US, accusing the country of “weak” handling of the Coronavirus crisis, that risks citizens’ lives.
Addressing MEPs through videoconference, the Union’s High Representative said last Monday that “American leadership has been weak. They were not at all prepared to face the problem and now they are seeing the consequences.”
Given the unprecedented crisis the world is experiencing, and the US being the epicentre of the virus outbreak, “blaming China is not the solution”, according to Borrell, who slammed the “personal attacks” of US President Donald Trump on the World Health Organisation (WHO), as if he was “a kind of Chinese agent”, said New Europe on Thursday.
On April 14, Trump ceased the US funding to WHO, accusing the the UN specialised agency of “failing in its basic duty and it must be held accountable.” Borrell said that the US’ move was wrong and defended WHO’s director Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus for his efforts in containing the pandemic.
“This is not the way to deal with problems which big international institutions may have and this is not the time to do it,” EU’s top diplomat said before adding that “this is not a good way of fighting the pandemic.”
The Union’s High-Representative for Foreign Policy and Security Policy also criticised US’ sanctions in Iran and Venezuela that impede the provision of humanitarian assistance, pledging to advocate for more access.
“Not even that is clear. Not even that. And when I speak with Mike Pompeo he says: ‘Yes. Humanitarian aid can go through’. But people don’t believe him. The most important financial institutions don’t want to take part in this trade,” Borrell added.