Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

UK’s COVID ‘disaster’ to be laid bare by PM Johnson’s ex-chief adviser

LONDON  British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former chief adviser will on Wednesday cast his former boss as a dithering leader surrounded by fools whose ineptitude led to a “disastrous” response to the most devastating global pandemic in decades. 

With almost 128,000 deaths, the United Kingdom has the world’s fifth worst official coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) toll, and Mr. Johnson was slow to appreciate the significance of the threat from the virus in early 2020 as it spread from China towards Britain’s shores. 

Dominic Cummings, the strategist behind the 2016 Brexit campaign and Mr. Johnson’s landslide election win in 2019, will be quizzed by British lawmakers from 0830 GMT on the lessons that can be learned from the pandemic. 

Mr. Cummings, who left the government late last year, has said the British health ministry was a “smoking ruin,” that Western governments failed during the crisis, and that the secretive British state was woefully unprepared for the pandemic. 

“The COVID plan was supposed to be ‘world class’ but turned out to be part disaster, part non-existent,” Mr. Cummings said on May 18 in one of dozens of tweets forming a critique of Britain’s response. 

“If we’d had the right preparations + competent people in charge, we would probably have avoided lockdown1, *definitely* no need for lockdowns 2&3,” he said. 

Mr. Cummings, played by Benedict Cumberbatch in the film Brexit: The Uncivil War, casts the British state as an outdated system run by incompetent amateurs who are resistant to any innovation that would bring them closer to the modern world. 

British officials, he said, failed to learn the early COVID lessons from Asia, were resistant to new ideas from young scientists, overly secretive, overly bureaucratic and lacked any real scrutiny from a compliant domestic media. 

Asked about Mr. Cummings’ criticism, Mr. Johnson’s spokesman said: “At all times we have been guided by the data and the latest evidence we had.” 

In a series of investigations, Reuters has reported how the British government made several errors: it was slow to spot the infections arriving, it was late with a lockdown and it continued to discharge infected hospital patients into care homes. 

The government’s chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, said in March 2020 that 20,000 deaths would be a good outcome. Soon after, a worst-case scenario prepared by government scientific advisers put the possible death toll at 50,000. The toll is now close to 128,000. 

Mr. Johnson has admitted that mistakes were made and that lessons need to be learned, but his ministers say they were working at pace in the biggest public health crisis in a century. 

Mr. Johnson has pointed to Britain’s vaccination program as a success that will allow the economy to rebound before its peers. 

Britain has the world’s fifth fastest vaccination program, based on shots per 100 people, behind the United Arab Emirates, Israel, Bahrain, and Chile.  Guy Faulconbridge/Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Economy

THE SENATE on Monday ratified the Bicameral Conference Committee report on a measure that seeks to lower the minimum investment hurdle for foreign retailers...

Economy

The Philippines is one of 17 countries that have kept schools fully closed since the pandemic began, according to a report released by the...

Economy

Workers are busy cleaning in preparation for the restaurant’s reopening in Marikina City. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ MICHAEL VARCAS THE RESTAURANT industry is anticipating some...

Economy

EXCISE TAX collections from cigarettes jumped by 31% to P83 billion in the first seven months, with more than half coming from Philip Morris...

Investing

The world’s largest franchisor of home service brands, has announced the acquisition of Pimlico Plumbers, central London’s leading independent residential and commercial service and...

Economy

MEGAWORLD Corp. will be spending P40 billion to develop an eco-tourism township in Palawan in the next 10 to 15 years, Andrew L. Tan’s...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Economy

US President Joseph R. Biden, Jr., will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.



Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!