Washed-up politician Ann Widdecombe, who thinks sexuality can be cured, just compared coronavirus to AIDS

Ann Widdecombe

Former Conservative MP and now washed-up politician Ann Widdecombe has compared coronavirus to AIDS in a bizarre and offensive column.

Writing in the Daily Express, Widdecombe suggested that efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus are going too far and it won’t be as bad as health experts predict.

“I’m all for sensible precautions but I cannot help feeling that we are going mad over coronavirus,” she wrote.

She added: “We have had the scare of SARs, bird flu, Ebola and of course AIDS. None proved as devastating as feared.”

Ann Widdecombe suggested HIV/AIDS wasn’t as ‘devastating as we feared’ in offensive coronavirus column.

Widdecombe continued: “We need a sense of proportion in the face of the financial markets going into meltdown, aeroplanes being grounded and shops shutting their doors.

She added: “It is nasty but, given the recovery rate, it is not the Black Death.”

It is easy for Widdecombe to claim that the HIV/AIDS epidemic didn’t prove “as devastating as feared”. As a straight woman, she did not have to watch large swathes of her own community wiped out while governments sat back and watched.

We have had the scare of SARs, bird flu, Ebola and of course AIDS. None proved as devastating as feared.

More than 32 million people have died worldwide from AIDS. It wiped out huge numbers of LGBT+ people when it was at its height in the 1980s.

With limited treatment options and governments who saw queer lives as dispensible, the HIV/AIDS epidemic was a devastating and traumatic blow to a community that already existed on the fringes of society.

But it wasn’t all that bad, according to Widdecombe.

The former Conservative MP is well-known for her anti-LGBT+ views.

The column, published on Wednesday, March 11, has since been removed from the Express.co.uk website.

Coronavirus has been declared a pandemic by the World Health Organisation (WHO). There were 798 confirmed cases in the UK as of this morning.

Widdecombe’s comments will come as little surprise to LGBT+ people familiar with her track record. The former Brexit Party MEP is well-known for her extreme views on LGBT+ people.

Last year, she came under fire for suggesting that “science may yet produce” a cure for homosexuality.

The veteran anti-LGBT+ campaigner made the comments on Sky News on June 2 when pressed about a 2012 article she wrote lamenting that therapy to make people “become heterosexual” was denied to “unhappy homosexuals”.

In 2018, she criticised Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for expressing their support for the decriminalisation of homosexuality across the Commonwealth.

The former Tory minister has also used her Daily Express column to attack LGBT+ equality, branding the acceptance of transgender people “lunacy” and backing businesses who refuse to serve gay customers.