Would Cameron have handled the Covid crisis better than Boris?

David Cameron is in the niche right now, thanks to his lobbying efforts on behalf of Greensill, a company he had a business interest in that collapsed earlier this year. Many commentators writing about Cameron’s current struggles have touted it as the final episode of the ongoing psychodrama between him and Boris, seeing Boris’ reluctance to come to the aid of the former prime minister yet further evidence of the rivalry of long time between the two. I co-produced a docudrama on this subject for Channel 4 in 2009 entitled When Boris met Dave which you can watch here. The dramatized tracks are crap, but the interviews are pretty good.

Therefore, I was interested to read a blog post by Russell David about the difference the past 13 months had had Cameron been Prime Minister instead of Boris. His hypothesis – not too drawn out in my opinion – is that Cameron would have done things better. In particular, he would have stuck to the UK government’s pandemic preparedness strategy and not succumb to domestic and international pressure to impose a lockdown. He would have kept his head when everything around him lost theirs. Well, “everything” except Stefan Löfven, the Swedish Prime Minister.

Russell’s post, posted on his Mad World blog, takes the form of a monthly journal, chronicling how events might have unfolded had Cameron been in charge. Here are the entries for August, September and October:

August 2020
Covid rates are now very low in the UK but Cameron, advised by medical experts like Sunetra Gupta, John Lee and Carl Heneghan, is putting plans in place for the NHS to face in the coming months for a possible resurgence from what seems, according to the whole world. data, to be a virus strongly linked to seasonality. Thousands of nurses are taking training courses to work in intensive care units so that the health service is prepared for the onset of winter. Cameron has rejected plans for widespread testing on people because he is aware of a false positive ‘casedemia’ that will scare people off, and he has not spent £ 22bn on a system of “ and tracing ” as he was informed that this would be unnecessary in a non-totalitarian state and when a virus is endemic. Looking at the government’s own data, he sees that international travel and hospitality are only responsible for a fraction of Covid infections, so he has no intention of stopping them; he realizes that in a dark year people still need pleasures.

September 2020
Just as Cameron raged at ‘green shit’, he’s now raged at ‘Covid death within 28 days of positive shit test’, and the time period is reduced to one week. Under his rule there remained the case that two doctors had to sign the death certificate, not one, as happened in a wacky alternate reality from March 2020. Lack of evidence of the spread of Covid by fomite transmission (germs left on objects), to calm the population.

October 2020
Officials seek to reassure young people worried about the virus. “You are literally in more danger of wearing it while putting on your pants!” A light public health advertisement featuring a cartoon of a pair of purple flares. He is criticized for being frivolous, but statisticians point out that this is technically correct – more teens die each year putting their pants on (and, presumably, fall and hit their heads) than die in the same period of time. a disease linked to Covid. When Piers declares that Covid is like the Spanish flu, new health secretary Iain Duncan Smith calmly comes out with the following: “The median age of the Spanish flu victim was 28; with Covid, it is 82. The Spanish flu represented 3% of the world population; Covid claimed around 0.04%, and 94% of them had an average of 2.6 comorbidities. Covid has an average survival rate of 99.75%, much higher for those under 65. These measured words help reassure the nation and alleviate the mental health challenges many were at risk of succumbing to.

Obviously, Russell’s counter-factual story is an idealized version of what might have been – no doubt, Cameron wouldn’t quite have been. this sensitive. But it is an entertaining read nonetheless.

Worth reading in full

#Cameron #handled #Covid #crisis #Boris #Lockdown #skeptics

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