Caroline Lucas MP warns that the prime minister is washing his hands of coronavirus responsibility. He is not guided by science and makes public health a matter of personal responsibility.
She wrote in The Metro:
If he ever did follow scientific advice, he has now abandoned all pretence of it. In the face of rising infection rates, which his own health secretary has said may reach 100,000 a day, all restrictions are to be cast aside on 19 July.
In future, public health will be a matter of ‘personal responsibility’. It’s hard to think of a more reckless and irresponsible gamble.
The Office for National Statistics calculates that as many as one in 10 who are infected end up with long Covid, and all ages can be affected. The Chief Medical Advisor says there’s likely to be a ‘significant’ increase in long Covid cases, particularly amongst the young because the vaccination rates are currently much lower.
For some sufferers, those impacts are severe – they’re unable to work or go out to socialise, some cannot even walk.
So while the vaccines have weakened the chance of dying from Covid-19, this gamble risks seeing thousands of people a day contracting a virus that will damage their lives for months, perhaps years. That is this Government’s Covid strategy and there is still no proper support in place for the hundreds of thousands who are suffering from it.
I fully understand the impact that social distancing measures and the forced closure of places like night clubs has had on people’s livelihoods and local economies, which is why I have pressed for acceptable government support for businesses affected by Covid restrictions.
The Government’s approach needs to be called out for what it is: a Darwinian strategy to reach herd immunity through natural infection. It’s hard to imagine a more dangerous gamble with public health.