Brace yourself: the Tory government is about to miss yet another target.
Remember when Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he had set a goal of carrying out 100,000 coronavirus tests a day by the end of April?
Here – refresh your memory:
“I’ve set the goal of a 100,000 tests a day by the end of this month.”
— BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) April 2, 2020
And then Dominic Raab took over the daily coronavirus press conference.
Asked to repeat the commitment, he said: “The Health Secretary set out that target.”
That’s buck-passing if ever I heard it.
It suggests that this is accurate:
Government to ramp up excuses for lack of testing and ventilators so as to hit their target of 25000 excuses a day.
— David Schneider (@davidschneider) April 2, 2020
It reminds us of previous failures, including the claim that a quarter of a million tests would be carried out every day:
The party of poor numeracy?
250,000 tests a day = 10000
30000 ventilators = 30
50000 nurses = 30000#NumerousClusterFucks
— Dellboy (@Dellboy29670181) April 1, 2020
And it suggests that more “gibberish” like this may be on the way:
They think we’re all bloody thick, NHS staff must be tested, why exactly did Johnson and Rabb decide to take the test if they feel not necessary.
Absolute disgrace feeding us rubbish. NHS staff cannot afford to have private test their wage rises were capped for 9 years.
— Maureen (@becadjue) April 1, 2020
What it doesn’t suggest is that we’re going to see mass testing any time soon. Carole Cadwalladr was right when she commented on the last failure:
Without mass testing, there’s mass dying. Or mass lock-up. Or what currently looks most likely – both.
— Carole Cadwalladr (@carolecadwalla) April 1, 2020
It also suggests that Raab is quietly pushing the discredited “herd immunity” fantasy:
So….if mass testing is not Govt exit strategy only plausible alternatives are 1. Waiting for a vaccine 2.Herd Immunity . Am I missing something ????
— norman smith (@BBCNormanS) April 1, 2020
And it’s all very odd – for one very important reason:
"We have 44 molecular virology labs in the UK, if they were doing 400 tests a day we would be up to Germany levels of testing and that's perfectly feasible"
— BBC Radio 4 Today (@BBCr4today) March 31, 2020
So there’s plenty of capacity for coronavirus testing, but it isn’t happening, despite promises from a senior cabinet member.
Dominic Raab said a mouthful when he handed off the commitment for 100,000 tests to Matt Hancock.
But do you get the feeling he didn’t tell us everything we needed to know?
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