The UK now has the highest Covid-19 death rate in the world. We also have the second highest death toll in the world. We come second only to America  – a country home to 220 million more people than the UK.

It’s obvious to anyone that isn’t in complete denial this is down to blatant failings on behalf of the current government.

  • 90% of the world’s governments took precautions at airports such as quarantine and testing. The UK government was one of the 10% that did nothing allowing 18 million people to enter the country. Many from countries affected by coronavirus.
  • The UK government delayed the lockdown by 11 days against scientific advice while Boris Johnson dithered. Even when lockdowns were in place across the rest of Europe, the UK hadn’t even ordered cafes, restaurants and pubs to close. A recent report showed that if the lockdown had been implemented one week earlier it would have stopped 75% of deaths, that being around 30,000 lives in the current wave.
  • The UK government controversially abandoned test and contact tracing in March, again against scientific advice and the guidelines set out by the World Health Organisation. The test, trace strategy has allowed some countries to keep their death tolls in the hundreds.
  • The UK government allowed people to be released from hospitals into care homes without being tested for coronavirus leading to 22,000 deaths. They also “chose” not to test anyone in care homes themselves, which one Tory minister has admitted was a “huge mistake”
  • While Boris Johnson was dithering and failed to take any action he went on television claiming one solution could be “herd immunity”. A so-called solution that would have led to half a million deaths. Dominic Cummings the PMs chief advisor, who is seen by many as the man really running the country allegedly said “Protect the economy, and if some pensioners die, too bad” We have always been a nation of profit before people and the coronavirus pandemic has highlighted that.
  • A pandemic drill took place in 2016 which accurately predicted that the NHS would be in crisis in the event of a real pandemic. It showed the NHS unable to cope, with a lack of PPE for doctors and nurses and inadequate numbers of ventilators. The then Conservative Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt’s administration failed to act.
  • The UK government according to independent public health experts, despite anticipating the growth of the coronavirus epidemic, did nothing to prepare NHS Supply Chain capabilities for nearly two months, leading to shortages of PPE. While doctors were buying their own PPE or relying on donations, companies were shipping PPE abroad because they had been completely ignored by the UK government. A nurse from Chelmsford died from coronavirus after trying to buy his own PPE on eBay.
  • According to Professor Stephen Reicher, a member of the government’s own Scientific Pandemic Influenza Group on Behaviours (SPI-B), the government has undermined efforts to fight the pandemic and “more people are going to die” as a result. This is due to allowing special privileges for Boris Johnson’s advisor. Who travelled to Durham to his mother’s on what just happened to be the day his uncle died when his mother was obviously grieving and to Barnard Castle on what just happened to be his wife’s birthday. Professor West also a member of SPI-B has said it was imperative the public did not abandon social distancing despite the exceptions made for the PM’s chief aide.
  • However the police commissioner says people are now disregarding the lockdown and using Dominic Cummings as an excuse.

There has been a concerted effort to shift the focus onto China by the corporate media. This is simply to detract from the long list of the government’s own failings. South Korea is just 587 miles to China. Which is roughly the same distance from London to Inverness. The UK is 4,831 miles from China. Which is roughly half the distance from the UK to Australia on the other side of the world. South Korea has 269 confirmed deaths despite being similar in population size and having a higher population density than that of the UK. The UK has 37,460 confirmed deaths.

Despite conspiracy theories the scientific consensus rejects the virus being engineered in a lab and it is almost unanimous. It is most likely the coronavirus epidemic has natural origins. Therefore it could have started anywhere. The Chinese government did initially try and cover up what was going on, which the right wing media have used to try and pass the blame, with some on the right claiming if they didn’t we would have had more time to react. However, Japan and South Korea have managed to keep their death toll in the hundreds despite being much closer to China and having less time to react than that of the UK government.

It isn’t because there has been an outbreak of an infectious disease that the government is coming under such criticism. It is the way they have responded to it.

Tory party donors are pushing to end the lockdown. 61,000 people are still being infected with coronavirus every week. The World Health Organisation states that to start lifting the lockdown the infection rate must be under control. New Zealand had just 3 new cases when it started lifting restrictions. South Korea had just 10. Australia had 20 and China had 15. The lockdown must only end when new cases are close to 0.

The view around the world is that the UK’s coronavirus response has been a colossal failure. However, no matter what mistakes are made some just won’t accept any criticism of the UK government. They are more concerned with defending Boris Johnson – sharing a picture of him with his head in his hands from 2002 – than they are concerned that many people have died unnecessarily.

In their eyes criticism of the government is negative. However, many people lost their lives so we have the right to criticise our government. Those that have a problem with dissenting voices should pack their bags. I’m sure they would be much happier residing in North Korea.

David Hitchen

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