coronavirus International

COVID-19 crisis: Ex-UK PM questions Trump

London: Bashing the US President’s refusal to work with other leaders, former UK PM Tony Blair has questioned President Donald Trump’s leadership in times of the coronavirus pandemic.

“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 quoted Blair as saying, citing his recent interview with NBC News.

He said that with “global coordination”, 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,” Blair, who served from 1997 to 2007 as UK’s prime minister, said.

Trump has been at the receiving end for his administration’s response to COVID-19, with some accusing him of downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic and others saying his officials reacted too slowly.

Trump on his part has isolated the US from several international alliances and threatened to withhold funding from the World Health Organization for its handling of virus.

World-over, some 5.4 million people have been infected with the virus. Economies across the globe have been shut down in the crisis.

In the US, the first quarter of 2020 saw the steepest decline since the Great Recession as unemployment climbed to over 40 million.

Blair also warned of ‘terrifying’ economic consequences if countries remain on lockdown. “I think they (people) are not sufficiently well-informed about the risks of economic collapse,” he said.

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