Mr Verhofstadt offered his assessment while sharing a blog written by a columnist for the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad lamenting the failure of individual members of the EU27 to cooperate. The former Belgian PM-turned MEP commented: “This by Caroline Gruyter is how EU scapegoating works and why national vaccination negotiations would never work.
“Small countries would suffer most & EU unity couldn’t cope.
“We need to fix the EU’s central role in health, not tone it down !”
However, europhile Mr Verhofstadt, well known for his caustic criticism of the UK’s decision to quit the bloc, as well as his fiery clashes in the European Parliament with former UKIP and Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage, failed to convince large numbers of Twitter users.
Karen Squires said: “Guy, the EU let its citizens down, saving euros was higher on agenda than saving lives.
“UK has pre-ordered and pre-paid Noravax 7 MONTHS ago & soon to be approved.
“The narrative is to deflect your responsibility, the same as euro leaders.”
James Crofts posted: “Of course, the EU messed up so more EU is the answer.”
Similarly, Samuel Swalez observed: “That’s right Guy. The answer to everything is always more EU.”
Another poster was sceptical about Mr Verhofstadt’s claim that the bloc had been hard done by.
They explained: “Seriously? You really think the EU has been scapegoated? The EC has totally failed!
“The EC had to heavily redact the contracts to hide how awful they are from the member states.
“You’re creating a dark place for Europeans to live.
“They are seeing it for themselves now. Less EU!!”
Meanwhile leaders including Prime Minister Boris Johnson have said world needs to work to protect the health of future generations and deal with future pandemics in a co-ordinated fashion.
The issue has been addressed by Mr Johnson and 23 other world leaders, including French President Emmanuel Macron and Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel in a letter printed in various newspapers worldwide.
It says Covid-19 has been a “stark and painful reminder that nobody is safe until everyone is safe”, calling for a new treaty for pandemic preparedness and response to to tackle future health crises.
Coronavirus has led to almost 2.8 million deaths worldwide, according to figures from the Johns Hopkins University, while 127 million people have been infected by the virus since it was first detected in China in late 2019.