Daily View 2×2: 8 April 2020

The Prime Minister is still in hospital, and ill enough to put Dominic Raab in charge. It’s all vaguely unsettling, not helped by a series of statements saying that he’ll be alright “because he’s a fighter”. I’m not sure that his ability to fight isn’t rather less important than the ability of the medical staff treating him…

2 big stories

Is it now becoming clear that the government’s initial strategy was simply wrong? If the concept of herd immunity drove its response in the early stages, who was behind that? And have the promises of a ramped up testing regime been exposed as naive at best, false at worst? But it seems that the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Chris Whitty, is suggesting that we are a way behind Germany in our testing regime.

An army of volunteers is hitting the streets across the nation, and Mark Landler, the London Bureau chief of the New York Times, offers an outsider’s view on how it’s going so far.

2 blog posts

Jonathan Calder wonders what all the fuss is about regarding sunbathing. Admittedly, I can’t see that it’s the biggest problem facing the government, but the temperature is due to drop again soon, thus solving the problem.

Nicholas Whyte, perhaps more familiar in his role as expert on Northern Ireland politics, takes us on a guided tour of a locked down Oud Heverlee, the Belgian village he calls home. Look out for a quintessentially stylish station building…

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  • Chris Perry 9th Apr '20 - 8:11am

    Why does the Government not include those people who have died in care homes in their daily statistics? Don’t they count? What gets counted gets attended to!

    Would someone please persuade the Government to stop talking about “slowing the spread of the virus” (which is a throw-back to the catastrophic “herd immunity” concept and implies we are all queuing up to take our turn in hospital) and start talking about “STOPPING the spread of the virus” and developing a vaccine to deal with its return.

    Testing, tracing and isolating, social distancing and the use of Personal Protection Equipment (masks, goggles, gowns and gloves) are paramount. Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are ahead of England in respect of testing. Wales has extended and strengthened its “lock down” and Scotland has started counting care home deaths.

    When asked, at yesterday’s “press briefing”, about extending the “transitional period” to avoid a second hit on the economy in quick succession the Chancellor replied that we had left the EU and that all that was left to do were the trade negotiations. Most people would regard the trade negotiations to be the most important part as far as the economy is concerned and a solution has yet to be found for the Irish Border!

  • suzanne fletcher 9th Apr '20 - 1:00pm

    I don’t like this “he is a fighter”” talk. I am sure that he is, but it makes it sound as though those who sadly don’t pull through are not enough of a “fighter”.

  • Richard Underhill 9th Apr '20 - 2:24pm

    suzanne fletcher 9th Apr ’20 – 1:00pm
    This is about his combative attitude in playing tennis. Comments by his sister in her latest book are relevant and by former PM David Cameron (BBC Radio 4 World at One)

  • Richard Underhill 9th Apr '20 - 2:37pm

    We are privileged today to receive a letter from the Prime Minister,
    omitting all data directly relevant to us, such as our ages,
    delivered by Royal Mail, as part of our’ unsolicited Business Direct mail.’
    He is a former Foreign Secretary, since resigned, and should think about the risks to UK residents of re-infection/s arising from countries where the virus has not been completely obliterated. How much clean water is there in Mali? or Saudi Arabia? or Yemen?

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