Let’s do what’s safe and healthy. Which might not be the same as doing what the government says.
Since the prime minister announced a lockdown in the UK on Monday, you might be tempted to think that the government has got a grip of the coronavirus crisis. I don’t think so.
The UK’s testing regime is a shambles. After weeks of delay, and thanks to massive public pressure, the government is promising – without giving a timeline – tests for front-line health service workers.
Those workers are having to take time off sick, because they can’t get tested. They are
desperately short of personal protective equipment. And worried about the deluge of sufferers now arriving in hospitals.
The situation with the supply of ventilators for those who fall seriously ill is alarming. The government refused to join a European buying scheme – and then pathetically tried to cover its tracks by claiming officials did not receive an email. Brussels nailed that lie quickly.
Manufacturers of ventilators who offered the government help have been ignored. Instead, a contract was offered to Tory party supporter James Dyson, whose company has no relevant experience.
Senior ministers feel comfortable covering their tracks with deceit and diversion. Michael Gove, challenged by journalists yesterday to explain the disastrous failure on testing, tried to blame China. The editor of the Lancet, Richard Horton, has given chapter and verse on that one.
The government was forced to change its initial laissez faire policy, which appeared to Read the rest of this entry »