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British Government Defends Donald Trump's Handling Of The Covid-19 Virus

In the House of Commons, Emily Thornberry attacked Donald Trump's response to the Covid-19 pandemic, during a debate today telling Dominic Raab, the Foreign Secretary, “Now he’s calling it the foreign virus, blaming it on Europe for its spread and today blaming China.”

She is nothing if not consistent because she has previously called Trump an “asteroid of awfulness”.

The foreign secretary, however, and no doubt with an eye to securing a trade deal with the USA, defended Trump saying: “Whether it is domestically or internationally, it just doesn’t help finger-pointing in any shape or form."

It is also perhaps a sign that those accusing the government of following Trump's policy on playing down the virus and the need for testing and collating the evidence of who and where the virus is affecting, and copying his words; may indeed have a point.

It certainly appears they are prepared to defer to the USA's approach than take notice of other countries and the World Health Organisation.

At the press conference held yesterday, the stance may be changing as Sir Patrick Vallance, Chief Scientific Adviser called for a “big increase” in the amount of testing that is done for the virus. But of course this information was not offered and it appeared his response was more of the usual 'off the cuff' phraseology that characterises so far all of these press conferences.

He was prompted by a journalists question regarding the scale of testing as carried out by South Korea was required, the chief scientific adviser said:

“I think we need a big increase in testing. That’s what I’m pushing for very hard. Everyone is working hard to try and make that happen.” - the same response he gave yesterday to a similar question. However, there was still no details of what testing had been done to date!

But Sir Patrick said it was important not to have people turning up to hospitals for tests and instead a community-based approach was needed, possibly involving the private sector.

“There is a lot of work going on in Public Health England, NHS and DHSC to select which test we should go for and how that can be ramped up – possibly, and I think quite rightly, by the private sector so we can get things out there fast on the community side, having the other parts of the testing controlled by Public Health England for the hospitals and the other bits that need to be done.”

So, the same sector that has caused injury to NHS patients by making serious errors in breast cancer and bowel cancer screening services, is now going to be responsible for testing for Coronavirus!

Source: Evening Standard / BBC News

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