A BBC presenter has claimed that support for the plight of terminally-ill baby Charlie Gard from certain quarters is “borderline evil”.
James O’Brien, who presents Newsnight on BBC2, said on his LBC show that ‘alt-right’ politicians – including the Donald Trump administration – were “exploiting” the 11-month-old and his family.
Trump and former UKIP leader Nigel Farage have both spoken out on how little Charlie should be allowed to be flown to the United Stated for experimental treatment, going against the advice of Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) doctors.
O’Brien said that recent comments made by US Vice President Mike Pence made him realise why right-wing politicians have spoken out so much about Charlie.
He said: “The tragic story, the horrible, horrible pain being endured by Charlie Gard’s family, I’ve found it a little odd and couldn’t understand why some of the alt-right politicians and pundits on both sides of the Atlantic have been so keen to exploit that poor family’s pain.
“And now I know.
“Because Mike Pence, the Vice-President of America, was on the radio yesterday trying to use the case of Charlie Gard as a rationale for changing American healthcare policy.
“It’s one of the most cynical and borderline evil interventions I’ve ever seen taken by a politician, to take the life of that poor little child and try to use it to make points about Obamacare or single-payer sources.
“For them, it plays into a much broader narrative of of privatised healthcare.”
Charlie’s parents said this week that they remain “hopeful” that their son can be flown out of the country for treatment.
Chris Gard and Connie Yates, from Bedfont, west London, want Charlie, who suffers from a rare genetic condition and has brain damage, to undergo a therapy trial in America.
They have been told to spell out fresh evidence which might persuade a judge to let them take their child abroad for treatment.
Specialists at GOSH, where Charlie is being cared for, have said therapy proposed by a doctor in America is experimental and would not help.
Great Ormond Street doctors say life-support treatment should stop and Charlie should be allowed to die.
Top pic: PA