Brexiteer MP and disgraced former defence minister Liam Fox has claimed that the global community may have ‘overreacted’ to the emergence of the coronavirus.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Brexiteer told MPs that ‘we cannot afford to close down the global economy every time we have a new virus emerging’.
He said: ‘We will need to wait to see the level of excess global deaths before we are able to determine whether, in closing down parts of the global economy, we have actually overreacted as a global community to the emergence of a new virus.
‘That will be crucial for our future activities, because we cannot afford to close down the global economy every time we have a new virus emerging, and, if we are not willing to do that, we must develop international protocols that will give us an idea of how we manage, in the globalised era, something that will not respect borders however much we in governmental structures wish that it would.’
Fox, who is a former general practitioner until his election to parliament, also suggested the lockdown will not have a significant impact on reducing the mortality rate in the country.
Have your say
Send your letters for publication to The New European by emailing email@example.com and pick up an edition each Thursday for more comment and analysis. Find your nearest stockist here or subscribe to a print or digital edition for just £13. You can also join our readers' Facebook group to keep the discussion and debate going with thousands of fellow pro-Europeans.
He said: ‘In a pandemic with a new virus, where there is no vaccine and no cure, most of the population are likely to become infected over time.
‘A lockdown, the likes of which we have had in the United Kingdom, can reduce the peak death rate, history will suggest, by up to 50%, and it will reduce the excess mortality rate over time, but not to such a great extent. It is worth us keeping that in mind as we look forward to future steps.’
Twitter users reacted with fury at the suggestion that the global response could have been an overreaction.
‘I am happy to overreact and for me and my loved ones to stay out of ICU or worse,’ said another.
‘Would Liam Fox like to take a shift on an ICU ward with COVID-19 patients & then tell us again about overreactions?’ asked @anna_louise83.
‘Cool, I’m sure Liam Fox will be happy to go and man the checkout in Asda’ tweeted Pad Udall.
‘Someone give him a bus-drivers’ uniform – we can sort that in about 30 minutes,’ said Jamie Taylor.
‘An economy relies on people either in production or in purchasing, if they aren’t there no economy,’ noted Nicholas Davey. ‘That is why countries have reacted as they have & when it is safe then we can reopen the non essential businesses etc.’