Monday, November 28, 2022

Downing Street 10 race: Sunak tries to distance himself from Johnson’s Corona policy

wooWhile Germany prepares for new coronavirus measures in the autumn, many Britons are looking at the consequences of the safety rules with growing skepticism. Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, far behind Foreign Secretary Liz Truss in the race to succeed Boris Johnson, joined the ranks of skeptics on Thursday, criticizing the government until early July for scaring citizens “too much”. ” hunted. The Corona Science Council should not have been given so much power. Discussions about the negative consequences of drastic measures have been suppressed.


The ill-effects of the lockdown and the general atmosphere of fear at the peak of the pandemic have been discussed critically for some time. The British oncologist speaks of the “worst cancer crisis” of his career as many people with first symptoms have stayed home or have had examinations postponed by the health service.

The health committee in the House of Commons said in early December that 5.8 million citizens were waiting for treatment because of the “post-Covid rush”; Now the number continues to increase. However, the psychological side effects and effects that school closures had on children and youth were also brought to light. Many members of the Conservative Party, now allowed to choose the next prime minister, have opposed COVID-related restrictions on freedom, while the Labor Party and much of society blame the government for its initially too late and too weak response. Stay put. Of epidemic.

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Sunak criticized the role of scientists

Sunak told Spectator magazine that he was stopped by people in the prime minister’s office to discuss the damages of the lockdown. “The script was never meant to accept them,” he said. “The script was: There are no trade-offs because we do this for our health, which is good for our economy.” He argued in cabinet against school closures and “fear fiction”, but was against a “brick wall”. faced.

When the “Spectator” objected that the majority of the population at the time voted in favor of drastic measures, he said: “We have our part in it, with messages of fear, the empowerment of scientists, and silence about the adverse effects.” “To scare people so much” was wrong, which he has repeatedly addressed to Johnson internally.

Sunak described it as a particular mistake that the scientific advisory board “Sage”, consisting mainly of epidemiologists and model calculators, was given so much influence. “If you give power to all these free people, you are doomed,” he said. Johnson issued the line at the start of the pandemic that “the government is letting the science guide it.”

Sunak said, decisions were always made when bleak forecasts were presented before the cabinet, measures should not be introduced or eased. It was unclear “how these very important scenarios were calculated”. He recalled immunologist Neil Ferguson’s initial forecast that a lockdown could limit the number of deaths to 20,000. Last summer, Ferguson warned of a rapid rise in the death row if the measures were scrapped. Both predictions did not come true.

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Sunak is not against the lockdown in principle. He said that a new corona version could restart the debate about it. But if it is discussed openly next time, then the losses can be reduced. Asked what he would have done differently from Johnson, Sunak said: “I would have had a more mature dialogue with the country.” In the election campaign that ends next week, the topic of corona has not played a major role, so far. New measures for the fall are not discussed.

Critics accused Sunak of desperation on Thursday. Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, who played a key role in shaping the Corona policy in the first year, described Sunak’s interview as “dangerous garbage”. After calling Truss “crazy”, Cummings has now said frankly that his “periodically poor campaign” has caused a “brain meltdown”. Pollsters consider it very unlikely that Sunak will be able to catch up with his opponent.

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