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FCO is not doing enough to secure a clear and transparent global response to pandemic

16 June 2020

In response to its Viral Immunity - The FCO's role in building a coalition against Covid-19 Report, the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee has expressed concern that the Government is not doing enough to ensure a clear and transparent response to the pandemic and is failing to draw upon the lessons already learnt.

Chair's comments

Chair of the Committee, Tom Tugendhat MP, said:

"The unprecedented nature of the recent pandemic has raised many questions that the Government has been unable or hesitant to answer.

In the interests of global health, we proposed the establishment of a 'G20 for Public Health', which would bring together scientists and researchers from across the world's most open societies to share accurate data in an open forum.

Given the problem of getting accurate information from some countries and the implications that has had for the transmission of the virus around the world and, in particular, to the UK, I am sorry the FCO did not even consider this proposal. Simply re-stating its support for the international mechanisms that have already failed to co-ordinate a clear and transparent response to the pandemic, is not enough. The existing structures have been found wanting, with devastating consequences.

We also would have wished the government took on the recommendation of beginning the review now so as to learn the lessons we can as early as possible. Although there is always more you can learn, the real danger of a second spike in infections means there is no time to lose in drawing conclusions from what we already know and what we can learn from partners."

Further information

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