Showing two fingers to ‘the science’? BoJo gives green light to lockdown lifting despite NO CHANGE in coronavirus threat level
The UK government has been accused of reneging on its promise to always be led “by the science,” after its signaled lockdown measures will be relaxed – even though coronavirus threat levels will not be lowered.
During Downing Street’s daily briefing to the media on Friday, it was confirmed that the easing of lockdown and social distancing measures will still go ahead as planned from Monday, even though the threat coronavirus poses to the country has not changed.
PM Boris Johnson had told MPs on Wednesday that he was optimistic the Covid-19 alert system could be lowered from level 4 to level 3, but the government’s Joint Biosecurity Unit – responsible for monitoring the number of coronavirus cases and transmission rate – would not sanction it.
Downing Street Daily Briefing Government was unable to reduce Coronavirus threat level below 4. Boris Johnson signalled on Wednesday it was likely to be reduced to 3, but the Joint Biosecurity Unit did not agree to this yesterday.Lockdown lifting goes ahead nevertheless pic.twitter.com/Pt8cDzMVAq— Sam Coates Sky (@SamCoatesSky) May 29, 2020
Johnson and his cabinet ministers have consistently maintained throughout the course of the outbreak that their response to the coronavirus pandemic will be guided “by the science” at all times.
There are five Covid-19 alert levels with the UK on level 4 throughout the lockdown. Level 3 stipulates that there will be a “gradual relaxation of restrictions and social distancing measures.”
It would appear that the UK is unofficially moving on to level 3, with some people wondering “what is the point of the threat level system” if PM Boris Johnson’s administration is not going to adhere to it.
So “gradual relaxing” of restrictions will come into effect but the Alert Level stays at 4. Makes a complete mockery of the system. And shows that the decision is political, to distract from Cummings, not based on data. pic.twitter.com/V74EsG6Vsw— Sunny Jim (@ZeObserver) May 29, 2020
Liverpool Echo journalist Liam Thorp mocked the government’s “everything we are doing is guided by the science” rhetoric, joking: “apart from when the science doesn’t agree with what we want to do.”
There were also accusations that ministers were “making political decisions” – going against their scientists’ advice – to take the heat off Dominic Cummings, the prime minister’s chief adviser who has been embroiled in controversy over the past week.
Latest figures published by the department for health and social care show that the UK has close to 38,000 Covid-19 deaths. Data published by the Financial Times on Thursday suggested that the UK has suffered the highest rate of excess deaths per million in the world among countries with comparable data during the Covid-19 pandemic.Also on rt.com Rush to bury Cummings story? UK govt slammed as Covid-19 contact tracing system won’t be ‘fully operational’ till end of June