The PM and the ‘death certificate’ story
TruePublica Editor: I sometimes wonder if the current government is attempting to create its own news then deliberately counter it in order to generate confusion and doubt. In democracies that are fading, it’s a common tactic.
Some of the mainstream media, both in print and broadcast have promoted the story that Boris Johnson was infected with COVID-19, was admitted to hospital, then intensive care, that it was ‘touch and go’ and ’50/50′ if he’d make it and that the doctors had prepared our PM’s death certificate in readiness to hand over to the ‘designated survivor.’ We are also told that the PM saw the “figures on the machine going the wrong way.” Here’s a quote: “The PM told The Sun on Sunday he was given “litres and litres of oxygen” to keep him alive”.
That interview went on to quote the PM as saying – “It was thanks to some wonderful, wonderful nursing that I made it. They really did it and they made a huge difference. I can’t explain how it happened. I don’t know . . . it was just wonderful to see the . . . ”
His voice falters while his eyes redden and he pauses to take a deep breath.
He continues: “I get emotional about it . . . but it was an extraordinary thing.”
That bit about figures in the wrong direction is total drivel. Patients don’t have machines telling them they are going to die pointing right at them – they are pointed at the professionals trying to save them. And even if it was the case that the patient was in a desperate battle for life, he/she would be sedated, unconscious and on a ventilator. We were also told at no time was the PM on a ventilator and had never been given oxygen.
The basic timeline of events is that: on the afternoon of 6th April, Johnson is admitted to hospital. In the evening he is then admitted to intensive care. On the 7th and 8th, we are told the PM is stable with Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, saying “the prime minister was sitting up in bed and engaging positively with medical staff”. On the 9th, the PM is moved back to the wards and Downing Street officially states the PM is in “extremely good spirits.” On the 10th and 11th, Johnson’s starts his recovery and the following day is discharged. We are told he was taken to Chequers.
The PM actually went to Downing Street (not Chequers as we were told) and spoke to the nation for a whole five minutes without pause or breathlessness. At this point, it would seem the PM caught the virus, got symptoms and the medical staff in hospital overcompensated simply because he is the PM, which is perfectly understandable.
It was the government who promoted the story that the PM was not on a ventilator, was in ‘good spirits’ and ‘full of vigour’ and even that he was being briefed and kept up to date and chatting casually with NHS staff. Now, the government are promoting an entirely different story. That the PM was close to dying and that arrangements were being made to ensure good government after his demise.
Don’t forget, this is not being made up by journalists, this is the stuff being pumped out by the press office to unquestioning journalists. So which is it? Was he on death’s door or not?
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Here is some typical text from the Daily Mail from May 2nd:
For all the misinformation about Mr Johnson’s health – and concerns provoked by his breathless return to the daily coronavirus press conference on Thursday – in reality, staff at No10 had been struck by how buoyant the PM has seemed.
‘He is firing on all cylinders,’ said one. Although he is still on the mend from his debilitating three-day intensive care stay, sources insist that he is reinvigorated.
‘In some ways, certainly in mood, he is in better shape than when he left,’ said one. ‘The illness finally forced him to take some proper rest.’
Another friend of Mr Johnson’s added: ‘He hasn’t stopped since this time last year. First there was the stress of when the leadership contest would be, then the battle itself, then straight into Brexit hell and straight into a General Election, swiftly followed by the biggest crisis to face a PM since the war. No wonder he needed some sleep.'”
Perhaps they’d forgotten to mention some freebie foreign holidays by mystical Tory donors just a few weeks earlier.
I had previously taken the position that as we know so little about COVID-19 it is hard to discredit anyone’s personal experience. But frankly, it is becoming more and more obvious that the Downing Street press office is using the PM’s hospital visit as a staging post to fight back against all the criticism laid at its feet.
There’s no doubting the C19 was going to cause death in every country but the criticism really boils down to just one set of statistics. How many died against our peers per million population. Of large population countries, Britain currently ranks as the third-worst performing country in the world. Of course, we’ll never really know how many really died in places like Russia or China or across continental Africa and so on, because the truth is not bothered with, but still, Britain should have been able to do better for its people than this. And who other than Downing Street knows what the truth is on this ‘death certificate’ story.
It is true to say this government, like many others, have been tested in this crisis but ours have been found wanting. The same can be said of the propaganda they are spitting out and the mainstream media that parrots its nonsense. But there’s some way to go yet and there are more very complicated challenges ahead such as the lockdown versus the economy. Politically, this is a nightmare scenario and could place any of the best government’s in the world into a no-win position. The right way of dealing with it is to level with the country. To say what is known and what is unknown. To say that there is a plan but it’s a best guess against the evidence that is available. Everyone can get behind real leadership in a crisis even if mistakes are made.
Amid concerns about “dangerous” political interference in advice to the government by the experts in SAGE, it now appears that scientists and experts have now set up a shadow committee. The 12-strong committee was created “in response to concerns over the lack of transparency” from SAGE. What does this tell us as a nation about our government?
The problem is that Boris Johnson and his acolytes have lies, misinformation and propaganda bred into their DNA – they know nothing else and so you can expect more tripe and nonsense to explain their constant lack of judgement, skill and leadership.
In the meantime, the mouthpiece of the government and their stenographers – The Sun, The Mail, The Telegraph and so on will continue to publish absurd stories that rank somewhere between complete gibberish and hyped up claptrap.