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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Criticized, Boris Johnson praises the efforts of his country

The Prime Minister underlined the “incredible efforts” of the United Kingdom to fight against the Covid-19 in spite of a very heavy assessment.

Criticized for the very heavy toll of the pandemic in the United Kingdom and for the failures of the deconfinement, Prime Minister Boris Johnson praised Wednesday the “incredible” efforts of his country to fight the new coronavirus.

More than 41,000 people who tested positive for the virus died in the UK, according to figures from health officials on Wednesday, and even more than 50,000 including suspected cases. It’s the heaviest toll in Europe, and the second highest in the world after the United States.

“Incredible success”

“Last week the Prime Minister said he is proud of the government’s record,” said Labor opposition leader Keir Starmer said when calling on the leader of the House of Commons. “But there is no pride in these numbers, is there?”

“We mourn each other and we are sorry for them and their loved ones and friends,” said Boris Johnson in a sour exchange. But “in terms of what this country has done to fight the epidemic, I have to say that I don’t agree at all with the way you present it.”

And to quote “the incredible success” of the public health service (NHS) which built emergency field hospitals – which in the end were practically unused – or the “incredible” manner in which the country mobilized to allow “to have the virus under control”.

Criticized for delaying confinement of the country, which would have cost thousands of lives, Boris Johnson said it was premature to make comparisons with other countries, as experts warned, due to methods and the pandemic that is still going on.

Zoos before classes
Critical voices include that of epidemiologist Neil Ferguson of Imperial College London. The epidemic then doubling in magnitude “every three to four days”, “if we had introduced containment a week earlier, we would have reduced the final number of deaths by at least half,” he said on Wednesday Members of the Science and Technology Commission.

He said he continues to advise the government, even if he resigned in May, in full confinement, from the scientific committee assisting the government after having received a woman, presented as his mistress, in full confinement.

Concerning the gradual lifting of restrictions since the beginning of June and deemed premature by certain scientists, Boris Johnson assured: “We have a plan, we are following it and we will stick to it”.

Loss of trustworthy
Schools partially reopened in early June, and all retail businesses will be able to reopen next Monday in England. Bars, restaurants and hairdressers will have to wait until July 4 “as soon as possible”.

On Tuesday, the government however abandoned its plan to allow all schoolchildren to return to school before the summer holidays, earning it a new round of criticism while at the same time, it decided to reopen zoos as soon Monday.

“Parents have lost confidence in the government’s approach,” said Keir Starmer. “Millions of children will miss six months of schooling and inequality will increase.”

According to officials from the sector and anti-racist associations, home lessons will widen inequalities, because they are more harmful to disadvantaged children, who do not always have access to computers or whose schools sometimes offer fewer online courses.

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