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Covid: UK start to pandemic worst public health failure ever, MPs say

(205 Posts)
MaizieD Tue 12-Oct-21 07:10:34

Just in case people are puzzled as to why Boris the Beloved is constantly being criticised.

The Select Committee report on the the government's handling of the covid pandemic out today (well, yesterday really)

I expect that's why he's gone on holiday. Hoping the flack will have died down before he gets back.

www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-58876089

Catterygirl Fri 15-Oct-21 22:51:37

The Costa Blanca has strict rules about mask wearing and only allowing visitors in who are double jabbed. Google new cases today. Zero. Why aren’t we following their example?

varian Thu 14-Oct-21 18:47:12

Why do we wonder we we have a PM who could go on Mastermind with "getting away with anything" as his specialist subject?

railman Thu 14-Oct-21 18:20:56

MaizieD

^Yet still, some believe (or say) that the government were taken by surprise? Unbelievable!^

The government went to sleep on the job.

There had been quite a bit of pandemic planning going on since the Y2000. But the recommendations for improvement arising from the results of exercises to test the planning were ignored, latterly because the government was too preoccupied with Brexit to take notice of our planning shortcomings.

The section of the report on Pandemic Planning details it all.

Preparation for emergencies is part of a government's job. This point does not seem to be understood by the apologists.

Pandemics have been forecast for years. It was just a question of 'when' it actually happened.

Spot on MaizieD

I was responsible for creating business continuity plans for the boards of a small number of my clients - if I'd failed to provide them, I would have been sacked.

In the case of our 'beloved Government' they were provided, and updates recommended, but I can only presume for reasons of political dogma/ideology they were deliberately ignored.

Such actions in a company, had their been a fatality as a result of not implementing similar plans could well have resulted in criminal proceedings for the company and its directors.

I wonder if the same rigour will be applied at the public enquiry in 2022.

Alegrias1 Thu 14-Oct-21 17:35:09

I'm not a government apologist. I also don't think they were taken by surprise.

I do think that they were too late in taking the decisions because of the enormity of what we were facing, at least to begin with for the first lockdown.

I know its not a popular position, but there you go.

MaizieD Thu 14-Oct-21 17:32:03

Yet still, some believe (or say) that the government were taken by surprise? Unbelievable!

The government went to sleep on the job.

There had been quite a bit of pandemic planning going on since the Y2000. But the recommendations for improvement arising from the results of exercises to test the planning were ignored, latterly because the government was too preoccupied with Brexit to take notice of our planning shortcomings.

The section of the report on Pandemic Planning details it all.

Preparation for emergencies is part of a government's job. This point does not seem to be understood by the apologists.

Pandemics have been forecast for years. It was just a question of 'when' it actually happened.

Hetty58 Thu 14-Oct-21 17:19:50

To everyone who (somehow) still believes (or says) that nobody knew what to do, government did their best, were just following 'the science', it could have been far worse etc. - it just won't wash now!

Everyone here wondered what the hell the government were thinking - let alone doing. Where was the PPE, why weren't we locking down, why were they sending infected people into care homes? - etc.

We all saw what was happening in other countries, notably Italy, were horrified and took suitable steps to protect ourselves. We stayed home well before being told to. We kept away from family and friends, shops and travel - anything not essential.

Yet still, some believe (or say) that the government were taken by surprise? Unbelievable!

MayBee70 Thu 14-Oct-21 16:58:28

My eldest grandson is back at school tomorrow having had covid. However his younger brother can’t go to school because so many teachers are off sick with the virus. Just maybe if face masks had continued to be worn in schools they’d still have teachers available to teach the children. If my daughter hadn’t tested my grandson so often he would have gone into school whilst infectious.

Whitewavemark2 Thu 14-Oct-21 06:17:41

What is needed is an independent judicial report.

That is what the bereaved are calling for.

growstuff Wed 13-Oct-21 22:29:15

He's the Chair of the Health and Social Care Committee. The report was a collaboration between that committee and the Science and Technology Committee. I think they set their own agendas, so presumably Hunt and Greg Clark decided to produce it.

MayBee70 Wed 13-Oct-21 22:22:54

I can’t help but feel that it would have been even more critical of the government if Jeremy Hunt wasn’t chairing it. In fact, I don’t understand why he was chairing it given that he was health secretary when Operation Cygnus was produced. Surely he’s somewhat biased?

MaizieD Wed 13-Oct-21 22:18:47

I'm not sure that some people understand what this thread is about. It's not just a discussion about whether or not the government has done well or badly in handling the pandemic. It is about the conclusions drawn up in a report to Parliament by two parliamentary select committees as a result of their investigation of the government's handling of the pandemic. Investigation included calling witnesses and considering written evidence. And was carried out over a period of time.

The conclusion of the report is that in some areas the government did really badly while in a couple of areas they did really well.

If people want to defend the government perhaps they'd like to contact the members of the select committees to tell them that they are being really unfair because nobody knew what they were dealing with.

Or, perhaps, read the report, which is quite detailed. Then make a judgement on how well the government has done...

Here it is for those who missed it when posted earlier in the thread:

committees.parliament.uk/publications/7496/documents/78687/default/

There is actually little in it which wasn't known about at the time.

Lucca Wed 13-Oct-21 21:21:58

Caro57

Like the pandemic - hindsight is also 2020! If we got accurate reports from other countries I think we would see dire reports from them too. No-one knew what had ‘hit’ the world nor how it would pan out. Everywhere did what it thought was best with the info at the time

But reports of the severity of the issue appeared and still they didn’t lockdown! Your average person on the street knew how dure the Italian situation was for example so how much more must the government have known and still borders stayed open, large events continued etc. That is NOT hinsight.

Caro57 Wed 13-Oct-21 21:03:34

Like the pandemic - hindsight is also 2020! If we got accurate reports from other countries I think we would see dire reports from them too. No-one knew what had ‘hit’ the world nor how it would pan out. Everywhere did what it thought was best with the info at the time

Whitewavemark2 Wed 13-Oct-21 20:55:00

railman

I wasn't going to comment on this thread - I think everyone here has said something I agree with - with few exceptions.

I think what I find wrankles is the idea that "it could have been worse" if we hadn't had the Johnson Government. Similarly the suggestion by many that all politicians are the same - clearly a nonsense idea.

Classic deflection and whataboutery - which is a bit like trying to prove a negative.

I, maybe like others was educated in ignorance, and especially about history - obviously British history, with all those pink bits on the world maps. It was only in later years I learned of the disasters that we as a country inflicted, and the arrogance and ignorance of Baden Powell, Rhodes, Mountbatten, and many others with questionable views.

Yes we were taught about the slave trade, but not perhaps about how important that British superiority over any other group of people was, in order to maintain that control at home and abroad. It was merely inferred.

Now we have a succession of politicians rolling up to tell us how ignorant about Covid they were in February and March 2020, and they were 'following the science'. On top of which we continue our ideological 'war' with the organisation that we have recently left - blaming that awful EU for our own decisions, and the deals and arrangements we so recently hailed as getting it done.

Is this, and the unmitigated failure to manage the Covid pandemic in the UK what we as a society have to accept - one miserable falsehood after another, one illusionist's trick that we must believe?

Good post

railman Wed 13-Oct-21 19:28:04

Your make an interesting point Happysexagenarian:

"What we need to do now is move forward with a firm plan of how to handle the situation if/when if happens again."

We had a firm plan - indeed several - with "Operation Cygnus" back in 2016 along with 2017's "Project Alice" I believe, but it seems our "Dear Leaders" deemed it unworthy. In any case it might get in the way of getting Brexit done.

railman Wed 13-Oct-21 19:24:56

I wasn't going to comment on this thread - I think everyone here has said something I agree with - with few exceptions.

I think what I find wrankles is the idea that "it could have been worse" if we hadn't had the Johnson Government. Similarly the suggestion by many that all politicians are the same - clearly a nonsense idea.

Classic deflection and whataboutery - which is a bit like trying to prove a negative.

I, maybe like others was educated in ignorance, and especially about history - obviously British history, with all those pink bits on the world maps. It was only in later years I learned of the disasters that we as a country inflicted, and the arrogance and ignorance of Baden Powell, Rhodes, Mountbatten, and many others with questionable views.

Yes we were taught about the slave trade, but not perhaps about how important that British superiority over any other group of people was, in order to maintain that control at home and abroad. It was merely inferred.

Now we have a succession of politicians rolling up to tell us how ignorant about Covid they were in February and March 2020, and they were 'following the science'. On top of which we continue our ideological 'war' with the organisation that we have recently left - blaming that awful EU for our own decisions, and the deals and arrangements we so recently hailed as getting it done.

Is this, and the unmitigated failure to manage the Covid pandemic in the UK what we as a society have to accept - one miserable falsehood after another, one illusionist's trick that we must believe?

Alegrias1 Wed 13-Oct-21 16:48:21

That's what I thought too growstuff, but in the 19th century, but not recently.

growstuff Wed 13-Oct-21 16:46:33

Alegrias1

Has vaccination ever been compulsory for these diseases in the UK? I'd be surprised if it was. I could be wrong.

I believe smallpox vaccination was compulsory (but could be wrong).

Alegrias1 Wed 13-Oct-21 16:41:35

Has vaccination ever been compulsory for these diseases in the UK? I'd be surprised if it was. I could be wrong.

montymops Wed 13-Oct-21 16:39:42

Well said Rosina and Lemongrove- yes, lots of mistakes were made by everyone- But at least in this country, we are able to carp and moan - we have no idea how well China (whose responsibility it was) dealt with it Nor how many people died - we shall never know - or Russia - or Belarus - or any other secretive authoritarian government.
We have a relatively small country by area compared to France or Germany for example - therefore a much greater density of population - therefore much greater and easier rate of virus transmission. Our airports - Heathrow in particular, was and will be, probably the busiest in the world.
I believe our levels of obesity are much higher than many other European countries- and probably Asian countries. We need to look at ourselves -
This was an unprecedented occurrence in our lifetime- it’s a great pity that Jeremy Hunt - when he was minister for health- decided to scrap a ‘practice run’ in the event of a pandemic- and he now has the cheek to bluster on about how many mistakes were made. He needs to look at himself.
Most of the mistakes made by the government and the scientists are already known- we knew, for instance, that we should have locked down earlier and borders should have been closed. Many of the statistics shown were misleading as the number of deaths stated were not all due to Covid - They will need to look at themselves. There was a disaster in old people’s homes but there were some homes where managers really got to grips with the situation, ordered in PPE for the staff in time, closed their doors and had no deaths except those who died of other causes. The care home managers who did badly, need to look at themselves.
The government made mistakes but so, too, did most of us. I have now gone back to slimming world😳🤪🤗

growstuff Wed 13-Oct-21 16:18:24

Happysexagenarian

I agree with lemongrove. I see little point in picking over the bones of the last 18 month now, we can't change the past or bring back those people who were lost. Yes, mistakes were made, some things could have been done differently; there was a lot of sadness (all around the world) but also a lot of kindness and caring. What we need to do now is move forward with a firm plan of how to handle the situation if/when if happens again.

I personally think a compulsory vaccination program is the way to go. It worked for polio, TB, measles etc - until some people started demanding freedom of choice - and those diseases have become a concern again. If you really want to wipe out a rampant virus such as Covid everyone of all ages need to be vaccinated in as many countries as possible. I know some people will disagree with me. I don't care, that's just my opinion.

Acknowledging and learning from mistakes is essential for forward planning.

growstuff Wed 13-Oct-21 16:17:14

Well-balanced post grandtante.

Happysexagenarian Wed 13-Oct-21 16:15:20

I agree with lemongrove. I see little point in picking over the bones of the last 18 month now, we can't change the past or bring back those people who were lost. Yes, mistakes were made, some things could have been done differently; there was a lot of sadness (all around the world) but also a lot of kindness and caring. What we need to do now is move forward with a firm plan of how to handle the situation if/when if happens again.

I personally think a compulsory vaccination program is the way to go. It worked for polio, TB, measles etc - until some people started demanding freedom of choice - and those diseases have become a concern again. If you really want to wipe out a rampant virus such as Covid everyone of all ages need to be vaccinated in as many countries as possible. I know some people will disagree with me. I don't care, that's just my opinion.

growstuff Wed 13-Oct-21 16:15:06

sandelf

They were slow locking down out of respect for our reputation as people who like freedom. There was nothing stopping any of us reducing our contacts from the moment we heard there was a novel coronavirus circulating.

Yes, there was. Many people had to work and couldn't afford to stay at home. In those early days, most people were prepared to follow what the government told them to do and were crying out for leadership and guidance. None of us knew that much about the virus, so we didn't know what was the best thing to do. Public health requires united action and that could only come from the top.

sandelf Wed 13-Oct-21 15:40:07

They were slow locking down out of respect for our reputation as people who like freedom. There was nothing stopping any of us reducing our contacts from the moment we heard there was a novel coronavirus circulating.