Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Dealing with the first phase of the pandemic in Britain was one of the worst public health failures: British lawmakers condemned it in a report. The government’s approach, backed by its scientists, was to try to manage the situation to achieve herd immunity, with the delay in the start of the first lockdown, which has cost lives.
The document, prepared by a committee of experts and lawmakers from all sides and chaired by former Conservative ministers Jeremy Hunt and Greg Clark, found there were “big consequences” such as the vaccination campaign.
The report, which appeared in all national media, was prepared by the Committee on Health and Social Care and the Committee on Science and Technology, made up of MPs from all political parties. The 150 pages describe the failures but also the government’s successes in managing the pandemic, which for a century has been called the “greatest challenge in peacetime”.
The approach adopted by ministers and scientists has been described as “fatalistic”, leading to an increase in victims (150,000 so far) and that the situation in the UK has been “significantly worse” than in other countries. The crisis has exposed “major deficiencies in the government machinery”. And although the country was one of the first to develop a test for COVID in January 2020, it has “wasted” its gains. At the same time, breakthroughs such as vaccine research and development were highlighted, “one of the most effective initiatives in UK history”. The UK has “produced some good results and made some big mistakes. It is necessary to learn from both”, he concluded.
A government spokesman responded that prompt action to save lives and avert the collapse of the national health system has never been lost, but at the same time that MPs’ investigations will be taken into account. Labor, on the other hand, highlighted the “monumental mistakes” made by the Johnson government.
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