When he appeared at the Covid Inquiry this week, former Prime Minister Boris Johnson had a golden opportunity to get to the heart of the issue and denounce lockdown as unnecessary and harmful. But he blew it, says Dr. Jay Bhattacharya in UnHerd. Here’s an excerpt.
As a vocal Covid dissident and lockdown opponent throughout the pandemic, watching the U.K. Covid Inquiry these past few weeks has been a depressing experience. One gets the sense that both the people leading the inquiry and the vast majority of those questioned — the architects of the U.K.’s disastrously failed Covid policy — have learnt nothing.
At one point on Wednesday, Boris Johnson had a golden opportunity to get to the heart of the problem. The lead inquiry lawyer, Hugo Keith KC, asked the former Prime Minister whether the late March 2020 order to lock down the country was “absolutely necessary”. This was Johnson’s golden opportunity to confess the cardinal error of the U.K.’s pandemic strategy: that it imposed lockdown in the first place.
Instead, he averred that the U.K. had “no other tool” than lockdown available. Under questioning about his involvement in pandemic decision-making in January and February 2020, the ex-PM’s mea culpa centred on his regret that he had not “twigged” the seriousness of the Covid threat earlier.
One major problem with this reasoning is that by the time February 2020 rolled around, Covid was almost certainly more widespread than anyone realised because it had arrived earlier than anyone realised. In 2019, Chinese authorities delayed reporting the existence of the virus to the world. Studies of antibodies in stored blood and stored wastewater from across the globe — including Italy, the U.S., Brazil and elsewhere — found traces of Covid’s presence in autumn 2019, long before the world knew about it. Even a January 2020 lockdown would have been too late: our fate was sealed once the virus was abroad in the world.
“The inquiry has been marked by a studied lack of curiosity about the great control group of the pandemic: Sweden,” Dr. Bhattacharya continues. “But Sweden did better than nearly every other country on earth in protecting human life. It has among the world’s lowest cumulative age-adjusted all-cause excess deaths since the start of the pandemic. And it accomplished this feat without lockdown.”
Worth reading in full.