In response to Britain’s out-of-control COVID-19 epidemic, British Prime Minister Johnson was questioned by reporters at a press conference on the 21st, believing that the measures he promised had not been achieved and had little effect. But Johnson insisted: I did the right thing.
British Mirror reporter: Mr. Prime Minister, since the beginning of the epidemic, you have promised too much but poorly implemented it. Previously said 12 weeks of reversal of the trend, later said that the blockade was a disaster and the cancellation of public holidays was inhumane. Why do you always do this? Do you know that this will cause public doubts and damage public trust in you?
British Prime Minister Johnson: You have to imagine that in the real world, the country has been in lockdown for a long time and children do not go to school for a long time, which is really a disaster. It is important for us to let the country move forward as much as possible. I think I did the right thing.
The British government has been frequently criticized for its ineffective anti-epidemic efforts: negative attitude, slow action and confusion of information
As one of the countries with the worst epidemic in Europe, criticism of the government’s ineffective response to the epidemic in the UK is not recently due to the emergence of the mutant novel coronavirus.
In fact, since the outbreak of the epidemic, criticism of the British government in the media and the public has been heard endlessly.
Earlier this year, on January 24th, the British Health Secretary Matthew Hancock said that the threat of the novel coronavirus to the British public was very low. Just a week later, the UK announced its first confirmed case of COVID-19 and the first death on March 5.
According to the Sunday Times, British Prime Minister Johnson did not attend five emergency cabinet meetings to discuss epidemic prevention and control from late January to early March.
On March 12, the British government announced that it would not take strong intervention to “contain” the spread of the virus, but would not test or treat mild patients for the virus, cancel large-scale events or close schools with the main goal of “slowing down” the spread of the epidemic.
Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser, claimed that 60% of the people need to be infected with the novel coronavirus to achieve the so-called “herd immunity” effect.
After widespread criticism, on March 23, the British government announced a series of prohibitions, including restricting the movement of people and allowing people to leave home for special reasons.
However, the definition of “essential staff” and other standards for the implementation of the ban are not clear, resulting in many people who turn a deaf ear to the government’s advice and still have large-scale gatherings. On March 27, Prime Minister Johnson was diagnosed with COVID-19 and was discharged from the hospital on April 12.
As the epidemic eased, Prime Minister Johnson announced on May 10 that he would moderately relax epidemic prevention restrictions, encourage some people to resume work and allow people to start activities outside.
However, the governments of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland had announced an extension of the blockade until May 28, requiring people to continue to stay at home to fight the epidemic. The chaotic guidelines at all levels of government have once again attracted public criticism.
Since then, the British government’s epidemic prevention regulations have also been chaotic and repeated, not only ordinary people, but also some government officials.
For example, when Prime Minister Johnson answered media questions about the number of indoor gatherings at the end of September, he still relied on the old epidemic prevention regulations and had to apologize publicly later.
Not only are the epidemic prevention regulations unclear, but some officials and their families violate the epidemic prevention regulations and insist that they are “legal and reasonable”, which also makes the people at a loss.
Dominic Cummings, the chief adviser to Prime Minister Johnson, was exposed by the media to drive the family at the peak of the epidemic in late March in violation of the “stay-at-home order” he participated in.
Cummings himself neither resigned nor apologized, insisting that he “does not regret” his “reasonable” move, and Prime Minister Johnson also called his move “legal”. In July, Johnson’s father was also exposed to travel to Greece via Bulgaria in violation of government advice on social distancing and travel restrictions.
The British Transport Secretary defended it, saying that the government’s travel advice is guiding and not legally binding.