Boris Johnson Blasts ‘Demented’ Chinese Traditional Medicine for Starting Coronavirus Crisis

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson reacts as he hosts a Chinese New Year reception at 10 Downing Street in central London on January 24, 2020. (Photo by Ben STANSALL / AFP) (Photo by BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images)
BEN STANSALL/AFP via Getty Images

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has blamed the worldwide coronavirus crisis on the “demented” ideas within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which advocates pseudoscientific herbal and natural remedies including the use of body parts of rare animals.

Speaking at a virtual One Planet Summit on Monday afternoon, the Prime Minister placed the blame of the Chinese coronavirus on the wide held belief in the communist country in TCM.

“Don’t forget that the coronavirus pandemic was the product of an imbalance in man’s relationship with the natural world,” Johnson said.

“It originates from bats or pangolins, from the demented belief that if you grind up the scales of a pangolin you will somehow become more potent or whatever it is people believe,” he said.

“It originates from this collision between mankind and the natural world and we’ve got to stop it,” Johnson concluded.

While the coronavirus is believed to have originated in bats, Chinese scientists have speculated that pangolins — an endangered, scaled ant-eater — may have served as pass-through species before it was spread to humans.

Mr Johnson is reportedly an avid advocate for the endangered species, with The Sun noting that while serving as Foreign Secretary he had a stuffed pangolin toy on his desk.

The tough words from Mr Johnson come as tensions have been rising between the United Kingdom and the communist regime in Beijing, with Conservative Party hardliners pressuring the PM to take a stronger stance against China for its human rights abuses in Xinjiang and the vicious crackdown on pro-democracy campaigners in Hong Kong, a former British colony.

On Tuesday, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab announced that the government would be imposing fines on companies who work with firms in China connected to allegations of modern slavery in the Western province of Xinjiang.

Mr Raab accused the communist country of using “internment camps, arbitrary detention, political re-education, forced labour, torture and forced sterilisation – all on an industrial scale.”

“It is truly horrific. Barbarism we had hoped lost to another era, being practised today as we speak in one of the leading members of the international community.”

“Here in the UK, we must take action to make sure that UK businesses are not part of the supply chains that lead to the gates of the internment camps in Xinjiang.

Mr Raab was accused of not going far enough by imposing fines, however, with former Conservative Party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith questioning why Magnitsky sanctions have not been imposed.

“Surely Magnitsky sanctions should have been in this list,” Sir Iain said, before questioning: “I wonder who it is in Government that is blocking this.”

Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here: @KurtZindulka

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