The Observer view on deadly government incompetence | Observer editorial | The Guardian

Johnson is culpable for deaths that did not need to happen. The only conclusion to be drawn from the first wave of the pandemic was that the government took too long to introduce social restrictions and eased them too quickly in early summer. Neil Ferguson, one of the country’s most eminent epidemiologists, said last summer that locking down a week earlier – at which point many advisers inside and outside government were urging the prime minister to do so – would have halved the death toll in the first wave. Yet Cummings said that Johnson regretted imposing a lockdown during the first wave and was determined not to do it again: “I should have been the mayor of Jaws and kept the beaches open.” This allegation fits with what we know about the prime minister’s behaviour during the critical period last autumn, when scientists and others were again urging him to lock down to contain the spread of the virus, but he refused to act.

Source: The Observer view on deadly government incompetence | Observer editorial | The Guardian