Poor UK Government decision making

Many criticisms have been made of the UK government's handling of the epidemic.

Criticisms made include
  • lack of personal protective equipment for healthcare staff
  • unpreparedness
  • lack of testing

For example, Richard Horton (editor of the Lancet[1] - a prestigious medical journal) made a series of Tweets [2] on 9 May 2020:

"Contrary to those who believe 'the time isn’t right', it’s important to document the fatal mishandling of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic by government. There is prima facie evidence of government misconduct. Look at the evidence.

"On Jan 30, WHO declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern, its highest level of alert. This should have been a wake-up call to every government in the world. What did Boris Johnson do?

"The next day, Jan 31, Boris Johnson gave a speech announcing that the UK has now left the European Union. He spoke about 'national renewal and change.' He did not mention WHO’s global warning of impending danger.

"Then nothing for a whole month. On Feb 26, Johnson announced an Integrated Review of foreign policy, defence, security, and international development. He spoke about 'the changing nature of threats we face.' He did not mention the pandemic making its way to and through the UK.

"On Mar 2, he chaired a COBR meeting on coronavirus. He called CoV 'a significant challenge.' He went on: 'But we are well prepared.' On Mar 3, he announced his 'action plan' to deal with the pandemic—hand-washing.

"Later on Mar 3, he gave a press conference with the CSA/CMO in which he again said: 'our country remains extremely well prepared.' Yet all 3 knew that Exercise Cygnus showed our preparedness 'is currently not sufficient to cope with the extreme demands of a severe pandemic.'

"What we had and have is a government and a regime of science policymaking that stood before the British people and deliberately misled them about the nature of the threat and our readiness to deal with it. Please tell me how this course of events is not criminal?"


First published: 21 Apr 2020
Last updated: 16 Jul 2020