Kenney slams China’s handling of COVID-19, calls for ‘great reckoning’ for country’s role

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney is adding his voice to the chorus of criticism against China for how it handled the earliest days of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Kenney, who was taking part in a virtual roundtable hosted by the Canadian American Business Council, says there will need to be what he calls a “great reckoning” for the role China played in fuelling the global pandemic.

He accuses the governing Communist Party of lobbying the World Health Organization to turn a blind eye to evidence of human-to-human transmission of the virus and to resist early travel restrictions in Chinese hotspots.

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The premier also says the more the rest of the world seeks answers, the more belligerent and unco-operative the country has become.

Kenney says that should be a cue for Canada and the U.S. to “reset” their relationship with China and to make a concerted effort to bring manufacturing capacity back to North America — particularly for important medical gear like face masks and ventilators.

In particular, he says, Alberta’s petrochemical industry could play a key role in helping to produce reagents, a necessary component of testing.

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