No objective and no plan – the government is repeating the failures of spring

Editorial: As in March, Boris Johnson has been too slow to take a lead. Once again, lives will now be needlessly lost

Thursday 15 October 2020 19:10
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It is galling to watch the government repeat its grave errors of judgement and, once again, fail to take decisive action to control this second surge of Covid-19 infections – just as it failed to in March. Indeed it is more than galling. Again, lives will be lost needlessly, and for much the same reasons. Lessons have not been learnt.

On the precautionary principle, on the firm expert advice of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) and in the interests of the effectiveness of policy, some form of national lockdown is as necessary now as it was in the spring.

In March, we know that vital days were lost as the government dithered. Some, then as now, favoured the  “herd immunity” strategy, focussing on protecting the vulnerable. Then as now, others fretted about the economic costs and burden on the public finances. Then as now, there were worries about infringement of personal freedoms and civil liberties.

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