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Former McKinsey & Company senior partner Peter Walker joined “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday to discuss his former company’s relationship with China and Beijing’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.
Walker defended recent comments he made stating that China deserved “high praise” for their quarantine measures.
“I think the harsh action that they took, given the scale of China and the number of big cities … was exactly what they needed to do to be able to prevent the outbreak from going any further,” Walker told host Tucker Carlson, “And the reality is, the outbreak hasn’t gone much beyond Wuhan. Now, having said all that, am I happy about their lack of disclosure and lack of transparency? Absolutely not. They should be faulted for that. They should be accountable for that.”
Before introducing Walker, Carlson explained the influence held by McKinsey, a renowned management consulting firm that the host credited with championing the practice of outsourcing jobs, as well as their influence over America’s business relationship with China.
“What would you say to the families of those who died, starved to death alone in their apartments, or the people who are wondering where their relatives went after they were bundled into Chinese police vans?” Carlson asked Walker. “How would you square their grief with the praise you just heaped on the quarantine?”
“They had to do it, otherwise — if you could imagine the scale of China — if that blew out in large numbers to other cities, the numbers would be off the charts,” Walker answered.
Carlson then brought up China’s human rights violations, specifically the persecution of the predominantly Muslim Uighurs in the northwest of the country.
“The difference between collectivism and common good is a huge disconnect with the U.S. because we regard … human life [as] sacred and therefore any … injustice is something we ought to be railing against,” Walker explained. “And they’re just not wired that way.”
Walker then claimed that McKinsey advised American companies to outsource manufacturing to China during a time when the public perception of free trade was favorable and China’s power in the pharmaceutical world was unforeseen.
“I think we’re in a different world now in terms of being much clearer about what really essential goods are or not,” he said. “I think in the spirit of what McKinsey was advising, I think everybody was in favor of free trade in the sense of let every country do what they do well, and if you could take advantage of cheap, talented labor in China, which is not so cheap anymore, it was kind of something that improved the overall economic well-being globaly.
“I think now that we’re realizing the dependencies,” Walker added. “I mean, how many Americans would have imagined that most of the ingredients for pharmaceuticals came from China and you’re vulnerable?”