icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm

Ignorance? UK think tank chair ‘thanks God’ that coronavirus didn’t start in India… where the illness has killed zero people

Ignorance? UK think tank chair ‘thanks God’ that coronavirus didn’t start in India… where the illness has killed zero people
The chair of a prestigious UK think tank has caught flak on social media after suggesting that the coronavirus epidemic would be noticeably worse if it had started in India. The numbers seem to work against him, though.

Chatam House chair Jim O’Neill told CNBC that he was impressed by Beijing’s swift response to the coronavirus outbreak, which began in Wuhan, China more than two months ago. The British Lord and former Commercial Secretary to the Treasury claimed that the situation would be much more dire if the virus had originated in India.

“Thank God this didn’t start in somewhere like India, because there’s absolutely no way that the quality of Indian governance could move to react in the way that the Chinese have done, that’s the good side of the Chinese model,” O’Neill told the American news network.

His comments were not well received on social media, with people lining up to lambast the think tank bigwig for his rather provocative slight against India. Mohammad Tawhidi, a reformist Muslim cleric known as the “Imam of Peace,” said that such a statement “reflects [O’Neill’s] ignorance.”

Tawhidi pointed out that India has one of the largest public healthcare systems in the world, and has vastly increased the number of doctors in the country.

“Yet somehow, this isn't racist,”quipped another less-than-amused commentator.

O’Neill simply may be bad with facts, hypothesized a tweet in response to his remarks. In fact, the British peer’s views on India don’t seem to align with the current statistics.

Incredibly, with a population of around 1.3 billion people, India has only 73 confirmed cases of coronavirus — and at the time of writing, zero deaths. The United States, which has less than 330 million people, has around 1,300 infections, with more than 30 deaths.

Also on rt.com Leading by example: Indian deities don masks to ‘spread awareness’ about coronavirus (PHOTO)

Like this story? Share it with a friend!

Dear readers and commenters,

We have implemented a new engine for our comment section. We hope the transition goes smoothly for all of you. Unfortunately, the comments made before the change have been lost due to a technical problem. We are working on restoring them, and hoping to see you fill up the comment section with new ones. You should still be able to log in to comment using your social-media profiles, but if you signed up under an RT profile before, you are invited to create a new profile with the new commenting system.

Sorry for the inconvenience, and looking forward to your future comments,

RT Team.