Damning figures released by the Office for National statistics have revealed that the Coronavirus death toll up to April 10 was 41 per cent higher than the numbers touted in the government’s daily press conferences. The stats, which include those who died outside of hospital, are a damning indictment of the campaign by Boris and Co to mask the true impact of their dire lack of leadership.
According to the ONS, deaths in England and Wales as a result of COVID-19 reached 13,121 by April 10, significantly higher than the figure of 9,288 reported by the Department of Health & Social Care. Why the government chose to use hospital-only figures is of course open to interpretation, after all it is not always possible to have a direct insight into the opaque nature of Westminster machinations. However, the use of such exclusionary figures must be characterised at the very least as negligent misinformation on the part of the government, if not deliberate disinformation.
It is vital for them to keep deaths as low as possible on paper if not in reality. Government messaging appears geared towards representing deaths within the medical community as a wartime sacrifice, but the leeway such a narrative may grant them would only stretch so far. After all, following a scathing article from The Sunday Times on Saturday, April 18, cracks are beginning to appear in the Johnson Cabinet’s united front. The approval of the News Corp-affiliated press is vital in the age of monopolistic media, and they will be keen to ensure the continued approval of such organisations in such turbulent times.
An attack by Conservative-friendly outlet The Daily Telegraph on the aim to conduct 100,000 Coronavirus tests has thrown Health Secretary Matt Hancock under the bus, potentially setting him up as the primary fall-guy for the failings which have become evident across the ministerial team. Whether this would be enough to save face for Boris Johnson is yet to be seen.
In an article from Periscope Nottingham’s own Ellie Stainforth-Mallison, we can see that Boris Johnson lacked the desire to attend no less than five COBRA meetings, preferring to spend time at his Chevening residence. Of course, there was an exception to this – Johnson did return to central London for one essential event. Naturally, the Tory leader found the time to return for a party fundraiser, in which one donor paid for a game of tennis with him at the steep price of £60,000.
There is little we can be certain of during this period of COVID-19 turmoil. Nonetheless, some truths have bubbled to the surface. It has become clear, now more than ever, that the Conservative government lacks not only the ability, but even the willpower to deal with the impacts of the pandemic in a way that reflects the magnitude of this crisis.
Having missed multiple opportunities to purchase additional supplies of PPE and sticking to the herd immunity line for all too long a period of time, we do not have the time or the patience to be waiting around for the government to somehow stumble their way into doing the right thing.
The clock is ticking, Boris. History will not absolve you.