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19 Apr, 2020 14:33

'Grotesque': Amid Twitter storm, UK govt rejects reports that PM BoJo snubbed coronavirus Cobra meetings until it was too late

'Grotesque': Amid Twitter storm, UK govt rejects reports that PM BoJo snubbed coronavirus Cobra meetings until it was too late

Calls to oust Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson are growing online after a damning Sunday Times report alleged he left the UK ill-prepared for the pandemic, skipping crisis group meetings and ignoring scientific advice.

Social media users rushed to respond to the Sunday Times’ suggestion that Boris Johnson failed to see the coronavirus crisis coming and acted unforgivably slowly when it was still gaining traction. The publication also alleged that calls to procure protective gear and enforce emergency measures fell on deaf ears shortly before Covid-19 hit Britain.

As the bombshell report made the rounds, a number of users demanded that Johnson step down and face scrutiny for sitting idly by in the face of the pandemic.

The article was described as an “obituary of Johnson's government” and something that “in a normal country” would probably "bring down the government.”

Twitter commentators also insisted the Prime Minister isn’t up to his job.

Others noted that BoJo is a skilled politician, able to survive both coronavirus infection and public outrage. “How does Johnson escape this time?” one asked, rhetorically. “Perhaps now he'll perform a magic trick, or sing a song, or read us some poetry... He might even try a ‘sincere’ apology.”

There were some who tried to go beyond the “hysterical” narrative, noting it could be more convenient for the Times to blame Johnson rather than “ask themselves difficult questions” and dig deeper into why the outbreak had happened.

The report in question goes back to late January, when China warned of the acute risk posed by the Covid-19 outbreak. Anticipating the danger, the UK government convened a national crisis committee, codenamed Cobra – but the article says that unusually, Johnson missed the first meeting on January 24, as well as four more which convened as the coronavirus rapidly spread on British soil. 

As the row grew, some suggested that backroom politics and a struggle for power could have been behind the Times’ revelations.

Downing Street responded to the revelations later on Sunday, with Senior Minister Michael Gove stating that some of them were “slightly off-beam” and “grotesque.”

Though the government is rolling out its media counteroffensive, this will hardly help overcome the snowballing issues healthcare staff are facing.

Also on rt.com ‘Not asking for magic’: Outrage over UK health secretary’s ‘arrogant’ response on NHS workers reusing PPE

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