The report on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic doesn’t tell us anything new. Of course it’s “damning”! How could it not be? Doesn’t Britain have the highest Covid-19 death toll (150,000+) of all the rich countries, only second to the USA?
The joint report by 22 MPs from all parties, calls this “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced”. But what has been learnt so far? After all, we are already into the second year of this virus running rife.
Nobody sensible would dispute that the 1st lockdown came too late. That’s no great revelation. “Wrong science”, banking on “herd immunity” is blamed. So when the 2nd wave began in September 2020, (because Johnson and Sunak opened up travel/hospitality during the summer), and surprise, surprise, the 2nd lockdown was also too late, it was “wrong politicians” to blame, rather than “wrong science”. This time, even more people died, even though vaccines were already rolling out.
And now we’re in the 3rd wave, despite vaccines. After Johnson’s 19 July 2021 “Freedom Day”(!), all restrictions were lifted in England. Yet today, we aren’t free of infection. Covid rates are still the 2nd highest in the world. In fact this week they went above 40,000 again. It’s true that deaths are far fewer. But this virus causes long-term ill-health and today previously healthy teenagers number among the dead.
Worse, mask-wearing has been officially abandoned. Never mind that it’s the sole protection in crowded spaces against a virus which might sometimes dodge vaccines and which has been found not to confer “herd immunity” after all!
Former Tory Health Minister, Jeremy Hunt said that the course of the pandemic had been: "a game of two halves”: in the 2nd half, all the “correct” decisions were made, because science is being followed! Like hell.
In fact this comment should damn him - and not just because he likened this lethal pandemic to a “game”! No, because science has never been followed. Not just in Britain, but throughout the world, politicians have hidden behind stooge scientists (in their pay), while the interests of profit were put first, before the populations’ health.
The fact that nobody is safe until everyone is safe - i.e., vaccinated - is forgotten, as the rich countries give their people a third jab - a luxury only they can afford, while the poor countries are left without. In fact the failure in “handling” this pandemic is a global failure. It’s the failure of a world run on the basis of the capitalist system - organised purely for the blind pursuit of profits - instead of being planned and organised according to human need.