COVID-19 disaster in Boris Johnson’s Britain

This 7 July 2020 video from Britain says about itself:

Boris Johnson should look in the mirror before blaming Care Homes | Professor John Ashton – EP 12

But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have a a point… 00:00 Boris Johnson blames Care Homes 03:19 Exercise Cygnus, PPE & other Government failings 04:41 Still massaging the figures 05:37 American style press briefing incoming 06:39 Getting stories off the front page 07:21 The curious case of the BBC & Boris Johnson’s Haircut 08:09 Blame the public 10:29 Clap for the NHS today, privatise it tomorrow 12:32 State vs Private Sector 15:24 Masks 17:13 Airborne Spread 18:03 The virus has not gone away 19:13 The world is a very small place

From daily News Line in Britain today:

THE TORIES have no plan to deal with a second spike of the deadly coronavirus.

A fresh report just released by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) warns that the ‘Government does not have either a clear understanding of the equipment needed for clinical and care workers, or how to distribute it – particularly in the more fragmented care sector.’

UK meat processing factories involved in COVID-19 outbreak back up and running. By Tony Robson, 8 July 2020.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain, 8 July 2020:

Editorial: Ignore the government: Covid-19 is far from finished

OVER 20,000 people have died of and with coronavirus in care homes.

Twenty-thousand is a significant figure. Recollect that at the beginning of the pandemic we were told that this was the figure that top specialists believed might be the best we could hope for.

Total deaths are now more than twice that.

There are a lot of problems in the care sector, not least the reality that care is conceived of as a business and that its success is to be measured by profits and shareholder value.

When the drive to profit intervenes in the provision of public services, the ability of government to effect necessary changes is always conditioned by its willingness to challenge the values which underlie privatisation policies.

Prejudice for privatisation is in the political DNA of Tory politicians, Lib Dems and New Labour types alike, and it takes more than evidence or experience to divert them from their defence of the indefensible.

Disastrous as it has been, the more or less complete shift to private ownership is not of itself responsible for the high rate of deaths in care homes.

The full responsibility lies in the hands of the people who thought a systematic transfer of people from hospital to care homes without a testing regime was a sensible move.

This has been compounded by the failure of the sector to anticipate demand for personal protective equipment or of government to fully provide across the sector.

Shifting vulnerable people from a place where professional medical advice and treatment was immediately available to the care sector where none of this was universally available has proved to be a disaster.

Boris Johnson’s grotesque bid to place the responsibility for this level of deaths on care homes themselves exceeds the boundaries of bad taste already pushed to the limit by the Premier’s characteristic buffoonery.

It is not simply a transparent manoeuvre to displace responsibility for the failures of his government but is a more ambitious bid to present the next stage in the government’s campaign to open up the economy and loosen the measures which informed and expert opinion still thinks are necessary to contain the virus.

The alarming feature of this process is the complete failure to resource the means by which infection rates can be effectively monitored, and those infected, isolated and treated and their contacts tracked down and tested themselves.

Independent Sage says NHS Test and Trace is not reaching sufficient numbers of newly symptomatic people and fewer than half of contacts reached within three days of a person are being tested.

We can listen to the sunshine sentiments of the government or we can take a cold, hard look at the real picture. But we don’t know the real picture because, as the Independent Sage group of scientists and doctors says, we don’t know if reported declines in positive confirmed cases are accurate because fewer people are getting tested or fewer people are having Covid-19 or a combination of both.

We do know that the steady decline in new infections has stopped, that nowhere in Britain does contact tracing appear as a key part of the Covid-19 response, and that only Scotland encourages testing.

Faced with an alarming tendency for government to fudge the scientific and medical advice it is getting and to relax social distancing and infection control measures, the sensible reaction is to take extra personal care.

Millions of people have learnt to modify their behaviour. They are also learning to distrust the government.

From daily News Line in Britain today:

PM BORIS Johnson was condemned yesterday after trying to pin the 20,000 plus coronavirus deaths in care homes on care home staff saying: ‘Too many care homes didn’t really follow the procedures’ during the coronavirus outbreak.

Mark Adams, CEO of charity Community Integrated Care, told the BBC the PM’s comments were ‘cowardly’. He continued: ‘I think at best this was clumsy and cowardly. But to be honest with you, if this is genuinely his view, I think we’re almost entering a Kafkaesque alternative reality where the government sets the rules, we follow them, they don’t like the results, they then deny setting the rules and blame the people that were trying to do their best.’

By Ceren Sagir in Britain, 8 July 2020:

The government still has no plans for PPE shortages, MPs warn, after PM blames care homes

THE government still has no proper plans to ensure that hospitals and care homes have sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) to deal with a second wave of coronavirus, MPs have warned today.

The cross-party Commons public accounts committee said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) was not treating the issue with “sufficient urgency.”

It comes after Downing Street declined to apologise for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s comments on Monday, when he implied that care homes might be to blame for deaths because “too many … didn’t really follow the procedures.”

By Lamiat Sabin in Britain, 7 July 2020:

Commons catering staff could be advised to walk out over unsafe conditions amid pandemic, says union

CATERING staff at the House of Commons could be advised to walk out if health and safety measures are not put in place, a union warned today.

The London region branch of GMB is calling on management to adhere to regulations and the government’s guidance on Covid-19, and to meet five coronavirus safety tests.

If the tests are not passed and protective measures are not enacted “as a matter of urgency,” they will consider the workplace unsafe and tell staff that they have the right to leave, the union said.

UK: Coronavirus exposes Leicester’s sweatshops and government hypocrisy. By Thomas Scripps, 8 July 2020. Government ministers have struck a pose of outrage at a situation they have ignored for years and want to replicate across the country.

6 thoughts on “COVID-19 disaster in Boris Johnson’s Britain

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