T he report released on Monday by two parliamentary committees is one step in a longer process of learning and demanding accountability for the UK the government's management of the pandemic . Rightly, its authors call for the public inquiry led by a judge into the disaster to be opened "as soon as possible". Presidentof the health and social services committee, Jeremy Hunt, and the chairman of the science and technology committee, Greg Clark, are serious politicians with some independence from Boris Johnson's administration. But they are also both former members of the Conservative cabinet. It cannot therefore be argued that this preliminary examination constitutes anything approaching a completely independent verdict. It's no surprise that some bereaved families over the past year and a half have angrily rejected him.
That said, World Health Organization Special Envoy on Covid Dr David Nabarro described the process as a "moment of dense learning ". And it makes sense to learn what is useful from exercise, while recognizing its limitations. Many of the findings are not surprising (the report focuses primarily on England, commenting only onfrom time to time the decisions taken by the decentralized administrations). The a wrong thought which has Resulting in the delay of the initial lockdown, the lack of overall preparation, and your slow and clumsy implementation of a testing, tracing and isolation program: these are all familiar themes to many critics of the government.
Strong words either about how the the social protection sector has been excluded and neglected by policy makers . broader shortcomings, including a persistent lack of clarity regarding new funding. The "intense interaction" between the NHS and social services has been a blind spot for too long. It is also welcome to admit that the advice wasbetter placed than the central government to oversee the testing and traceability system. This very costly failure was by no means an NHS program, as the report points out in one of its most scathing sections, "despite its branding ".
The disproportionate death toll among blacks and ethnic minorities, and young adults with learning disabilities, is also highlighted. Specific policies to fight against health inequalities must be implemented in response. An apparent reluctance to learn from the experience and expertise of Asian countries in the pandemic is another instructive finding. Among the report's findings are that the UK should be less insular when it comes to choosing experts and ministers should be more apt to challenge them. Less secrecy and more transparency are part of it.
But the report also spares the blushes of the government. This allows the prime minister to get off the hook for the decision to continue through fall 2020, ignoring calls for a mini 'circuit break' lockdown. And while the scientists and medical personnel who first developed and then delivered treatments and vaccines can rightly be seen as sources of national pride, in this context, the tone of self-righteousness ja rs.
The mandate of the review was intentionally restricted. It says very little about the wider impact of the pandemic on the NHS, or what happened inside hospitals. Staff shortages that were already acute before Covid are now when an emergency approaches . The broader political and social context also makesent default, except in fragments. Why, for example, did the government decide early on (wrongly) that the British public 'would not agree to a foreclosure for a significant period of time'? From the start, as Professor Devi Sridhar said, the goal should have been " save time without losing life ". The fact that ministers initially refused to do so was a culpable failure. Mr. Clark declined, during the interview, to suggest a tible for the public inquiry. It was disappointing. By far the best thing now for the country, and especially for those in mourning, would be continue .