The Lancet Editor-in-Chief Defends China, Rips the U.K. and the U.S. for Wasting the Month of February and Part of March
May 2, 2020 (EIRNS)—Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of the British-based medical journal The Lancet since 1995, was interviewed on CGTN yesterday, and issued a strong denunciation of the anti-China hysteria, warning of dire consequences if the world doesn’t work together against the COVID-19 pandemic, and ripping the United Kingdom and the United States for ignoring the warning from the World Health Organization (WHO) at the end of January to get ready for the virus.
“In my view, the scientists and doctors I know in China have done the most tremendous job in advising the government, treating the patients, and protecting the lives of the Chinese citizens,” Horton said. “China should be very proud of its scientific and medical community. For world leaders to be so critical of China is not only unfair, but plainly incorrect and factually untrue.”
Horton has a mixed record: He is a virulent promoter of the anthropogenic climate change hoax, for example. But he has been outspoken about the British delay in taking action, and especially against the “herd immunity” concept of letting people die.
“The conspiracy theories risk destabilizing our response to this virus,” he added. “We should work dispassionately with the Chinese authorities to understand the epidemic, to make sure it doesn’t happen again.... It’s very important to understand the origin of this virus and study it scientifically without these conspiracy theories contaminating our thinking.”
On the slow response in the U.S. and the U.K., he described it as “one of the mysteries of the history of this pandemic.” He said that on Jan. 30, the WHO issued a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC), a specific phrase used only under threat of a global crisis. The phrase was formulated in 2005, following the 2002–03 SARS crisis, for use in precisely situations like today, and as a clear warning to the world. “The WHO is the leading health agency in the world,” Horton insisted. “People should listen. Many did not, and thousands of people have died unnecessarily as a result.”
During an interview with CNN on April 28, Horton criticized slow responses from the U.K. and the U.S., despite direct warnings from WHO and from The Lancet spelling out what was coming in late January. (Trump first announced social distancing and some shutting down on March 16, the U.K. on March 23.) “We wasted the entire month of February and early March to get fully prepared, Horton said.
“I regret that the discussion of the pandemic is being carried out as a matter of geopolitical struggle,” he told CGTN. “It shouldn’t be. It’s a threat to our populations. We should work together. Better to sit down, discuss, trust one another, so we can solve problems we all share.”