Gov’t continues to Shift blame to scientists and medics

13th May 2020 / United Kingdom
Gov't continues to Shift blame to scientists and medics

By TruePublica Editor: At first, Jeremy Hunt was astonished at how late the Boris Johnson government had acted against the coming crisis two months ago. He seemed genuinely angry and visibly anxious at the relaxed attitude being taken when a quick lockdown to combat COVID-19 was clearly needed. Then the government were shown for what they are in a crisis – incompetent and ineffective. To compensate, Boris Johnson’s team are now using a different strategy in a desperate attempt to keep control of the public narrative – and gone straight into a war of blame shifting.

Hunt has now felt the existential heat over his career and turned tail. Now he blames the scientists. Astonishingly, Hunt now says that the failure to publish advice early in the pandemic meant it was not open to scientific challenge that could have highlighted failings compared with countries which have eventually had many fewer deaths. A Commons Health Committee heard the words – “It is clear now that a major blindspot in the approach taken in Europe and America was caused by our focus on pandemic flu as opposed to pandemic coronaviruses such as Sars or Mers.”

As Hunt continues  – you can see the direct shift of blame (initially towards the government) being moved to the scientists.

“Asian countries took a different path. As a result, South Korea had no more than nine deaths on any one day. Singapore is on just 20 deaths in total, Taiwan just 7.  The failure to look at what these countries were doing at the outset will rank, I am afraid, as one of the biggest failures of scientific advice to ministers in our lifetimes. What is at fault is a systemic failure caused by the secrecy that shrouds everything Sage does. Because its advice is not published it cannot be subjected to scientific challenge.”

And then Hunt goes on to move blame further away from politicians – “Had Sage’s advice been published in January, an army of scientists from our universities could have challenged why testing and contact tracing was not being modelled. They could have demanded a ramp up of testing and challenged the behavioural assumptions that delayed lockdown. We cannot know for certain but the result may well have been better subsequent advice to ministers and many lives saved.”

What Hunt is doing here is the clever use of words. He’s not blaming anyone initially more a failure of procedure and then mentions that the experts could have advised government officials earlier – and therefore better decisions would have been made. This tactic is shifting blame away from politicians more than blaming the scientists.

It is sad to know that when information like this is twisted to create a different outcome – about half the population will believe it.


With almost a million people needing to be tested, and only 30,000 tests a day envisaged at best, what our members really want to know is when all this is going to be a reality.”


In another blame shift tactic, Tory Ministers have asked local directors of public health to take charge of Covid-19 testing in English care homes. Whilst, on the one hand, some may take this as a tacit admission of the failure of centralised government – it is really just another strategy – an insurance policy if you like. If Public Health England succeeds, this is a win for the government, if it fails, there stands another scapegoat to be slaughtered on the alter of saving the PMs skin.

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Public Health directors will now be in charge of testing the most vulnerable target group for COVID-19 in the country. There are nearly 500,000 located in care homes and the same again in their own homes. The government knows from European studies that approximately half of all deaths on the continent have come from care homes and in the home. Testing targets of 30,000 per day is highly unlikely to be realised given geographical and mobility constraints for this group of people. They are almost certainly going to fail.

Vic Rayner, executive director of the National Care Forum, representing not-for-profit care homes, said: “With almost a million people needing to be tested, and only 30,000 tests a day envisaged at best, what our members really want to know is when all this is going to be a reality.”


(This was posted 16th March – It shows Jeremy Hunt clearly anxious over Britain’s handling of the C19 crisis at the time: WATCH: Jeremy Hunt visibly shaken at Government Covid plans)



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