Let’s be clear from the outset - this is not a personal attack on Dominic Cummings, his family, or his choices. This is about our government’s inability to lead with decisive action.
It didn’t have to be this way.
For five days our government has let the story of an unelected bureaucrat hijack the public consciousness by choice. They could’ve ended this distraction last Friday with minimum effort.
I even proposed a solution in my recent letter to my local Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi. While he was lightening quick to defend Cummings’ actions, I am yet to receive a reply - along with many fellow residents.
This lack of decisive action and leadership (it seems like a recurring theme with this government) is a distraction from some serious questions. Questions like:
How many people have actually been tested?
Figures have been unclear from the start. At certain points the government has
- double counted “tens of thousands” tests (The Telegraph),
- counted test kits provided rather than tests carried out (BBC),
- and now we learn that as many as 25% of tests have wrongly shown that a person carrying the virus was not infected (The Guardian).
How are we being “led by the science” when we don’t have a clear picture of how many accurate tests there have been?
How can the govt. make informed decisions for national safety if it's based on foggy data? And if it’s the case that they have more accurate data, why isn’t it in the public domain?
Not releasing it shows a lack of transparency and undermines the public trust in the government’s authority and advice.
Has prioritising coronavirus meant, under-prioritising other illnesses?
It seems that there has been 13,000 more deaths than usual since mid-March (The Telegraph). Many of these people will have understandably been sent home from hospitals, where their risk of catching coronavirus (and dying) would've been be higher. But because these people have died from causes other than coronavirus since mid-March it suggests that:
While people have been sent home for their safety, the medical care they needed to keep them safe in their community has not followed them. Has this been due to an overall lack of medical care provision and resources?
Treating patients with COVID-19 at the cost of the health and lives patients without coronavirus is a failure of government. Nothing less.
Why don’t we have a clear picture of recovery rates?
Why is it not being published? Is it not recorded?
Surely this is information to inform the British people to make decisions to the national benefit based on a better understanding of the risks?
These are just a few of the questions the government should be asking themselves, answering for the public, and taking decisive action to solve.
Instead we have dither and delay while it agonises over a situation where Cummings himself would’ve likely been first in line to personally dismiss someone putting the government in the same position.
Hopefully they can step up to the plate, and we can all move on.
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