PM forced to admit he had no grounds for his 12-week ‘turn the tide’ claim – but broadcaster’s headlines make no mention
At his press conference last night, Boris Johnson told the nation the UK can ‘turn the tide’ of the coronavirus pandemic in twelve weeks – but only if the country’s people follow the government’s advice.
Within minutes, he was forced to admit – live on the BBC itself – not only that he had no basis for his 12-week timescale, but that “we don’t know where we are” in terms of who is infected and how fast the virus is spreading. Which is no surprise, when there is no meaningful testing even of almost certain sufferers.
Five hours later, after plenty of time to analyse Johnson’s claim and subsequent admission as well as the many parts of the World Health Organisation (WHO) recommendations that the government is not carrying out, the BBC’s 10pm news headlines broadcast Johnson’s claim – without challenge or qualification:
Further into the programme, the BBC did briefly touch on concerns about the government’s handling of the crisis – before going on to defend the government’s slowness to impose the more extensive distancing measures recommended by the WHO.
However, the many who will have tuned in only for the headlines would have missed even that diluted scrutiny – and the analysis did not go into the continued failure to ‘test, test, test’ and trace, which the WHO says must be the ‘backbone’ of any effective response to the pandemic.
Tories always devolve blame, but not power – and Johnson’s statements now are preparing the ground for more blame-dodging when the consequences of his inaction inevitably bite.
Boris Johnson is failing or refusing to take even some of the most fundamental steps in fighting the virus – he appears not even to be investigating the drugs successfully used by China – but he wants all the onus to be on you if the UK coronavirus crisis cuts deeper, lasts longer and costs more lives than it needs to.
And the ‘impartial’ BBC is helping him.
The UK’s message to Boris Johnson is simple: we’ll do our part, but if it’s going to work, you must do yours – and you must carry the blame for your own failures.
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