#COVID19Chronicles-295: January 27, 2021-UK not OK: COVID policies, another nice mess

Has PM Boris Johnson been like Capt. Mainwaring in Dad’s Army, seemingly firm but ultimately bumbling into another mistake?

Or, has he been like Laurel and Hardy, just moving from one fine mess to another:

The Associated Press was stinging as it wrote, today:

‘The United Kingdom has become the first country in Europe to pass 100,000 coronavirus-related deaths as infections around the globe topped 100 million.

With more than 2.1 million dead worldwide, people the world over are mourning loved ones, but the U.K.’s toll weighs particularly heavily: It is the smallest nation to pass the painful milestone.

For comparison, the United States, with five times Britain’s population, has four times the number of deaths at over 425,000.

‘The U.K. has now suffered its worst civilian loss of life since World War II by a significant number. Some 70,000 non-combatants perished during the six years of war, including 40,000 in the 1940-41 Blitz alone. Three quarters of a century later, it’s 100,000 taken by the pandemic, an enemy no less relentless and fearsome than Nazi Germany was then and one whose defeat is still some time away.

One hundred thousand dead. For perspective: That’s just over 3,000 more than witnessed England’s only World Cup triumph in 1966 at Wembley Stadium as “Sunny Afternoon” by The Kinks topped the pop charts. And it’s 30,000 more than the crowd that gathered two decades later at the same famous venue for the Live Aid concert.’

Johnson said he’d done everything to avoid deaths:

He’s now pinning hopes on the vaccine:

It rang hollow to his political opponents:

It also rang hollow amongst some prominent media houses—a lot of too little, too late, bad preparation, confusion, and destroying public trust:

He’s being pressed by Scottish MPs to not break rules by visiting Scotland:

Another in a series of all-too-frequent missteps.

It’s worth noting that the UK has paralleled the USA in the awfulness of how it has dealt with the pandemic and it’s worth noting again that these were the two countries best placed to deal with such an event. Political leaders can matter, especially when they get policy wrong. Johnson trumps Trump? Trump was playing with his Johnson?

Author: Dennis G Jones (aka 'The Grasshopper')

Retired International Monetary Fund economist. My blog is for organizing my ideas and thoughts about a range of topics. I was born in Jamaica, but spent 30 years being educated, living, and working in the UK. I lived in the USA for two decades, and worked and travelled abroad, extensively, throughout my careers and for pleasure. My views have a wide international perspective. Father of 3 girls. Also, married to an economist. :)

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