Those of us who keep an ear to the ground will already be aware that Boris Johnson was briefed on the likely pattern of the coronavirus pandemic several months ago.
He was told to expect at least six waves of infection, with up to 240,000 deaths in total.
And his first choice was to do nothing, allow the disease to run its course and let a quarter of a million UK citizens – for whom he had a duty of care – to die.
Some say he had a change of heart in mid-March, when he announced the so-called lockdown.
But consider the multiple failures – in provision of personal protective equipment (PPE) and ventilators, in testing for the disease, and the shutdown of contact tracing when it would have done the most good.
These failures have ensured that more deaths have happened than needed to. Indeed, the UK now has the second-highest death count – proportionate to population numbers – in the whole world.
And now, just when Tory government scientists are telling us the pandemic has passed its peak, the World Health Organisation is telling us all to brace ourselves for the second wave.
Europe remains “very much in the grip” of the pandemic, despite positive signs it was passing the peak, said Dr Hans Kluge, the head of the WHO in Europe.
Speaking during a WHO Europe briefing, Dr Kluge said: “One of the things we saw very clearly in different countries is the speed with which even the best health systems can be overwhelmed and devastated.
“So the biggest lesson overall at this stage would be that health really deserves to be at the top of the political agenda.
“Health is a driver of the economy — what we see now is that without health, there is no economy. Without health, there is no national security.
“Once we get out of the pandemic, through united efforts, this is a lesson never to be forgotten.”
Of course the UK was in the process of privatising the national health service – starving it of resources in order to pretend that a US-style private system would better serve citizens.
The coronavirus has proved that such an idea is dangerous nonsense. The US has the worst coronavirus death rate in the world and it could be argued that the UK is second because of the Tory insistence on trying to emulate the Tory system.
Dr Kluge said it was vital for countries to prepare for future outbreaks once the first peak had been reached.
He said: “If the first wave is gone, [the key issue is] that we have bought the time to prepare for a second or third wave, particularly if there is no vaccine.
Prepare for a second wave?
Johnson hasn’t bothered to get to grips with the first yet!
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