Analysis comment

Video: 3 ways Hancock lied to pretend he’d hit his testing target

Moved goalposts and dodgy accounting to hide government’s failure

Health Secretary Matt Hancock claimed yesterday that he had hit and in fact exceeded his ‘unprecedented’ target of 100,000 coronavirus tests per day.

He didn’t.

Hancock used dodgy accounting, moved goalposts and an outrageous scam to pretend he he had hit his target, when in fact he fell abysmally short:

Moved goalposts

Hancock claimed his promise had been to hit 100,000 tests per day. But at the beginning of the month, the government was absolutely clear that the promise was to test 100,000 people per day:

An outrageous scam

Not only did Hancock not test 100,000 people, in his desperation to appear to have hit his target he changed the accounting. He counted 40,000 tests simply posted out on the last day of the month as tests completed – even though the recipients wouldn’t even have received the testing kits by the end of April.

The BBC claimed Hancock had achieved his goal, but had to include this damning info

And while he desperately posted out tests and counted them, people travelling to testing centres queued for hours – only for many to be told there were no tests left for them.

In the end, Hancock’s claim overstated the number of people actually tested by more than 50,000.


In order to try to make his fictitious ‘achievement’ look more impressive, Hancock claimed it was ‘audacious’ and ‘unprecedented’.

Except it wasn’t – because his boss had originally promised more than double that number:

‘Audacious’ doesn’t mean ‘taking what your boss promised and knocking it down by more than half’.

Three claims, three lies. A 100% ‘success’ rate in misleading the people to cover his backside – with the eager help of the so-called ‘mainstream’ media to promote fiction as fact.

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  1. …. And add to this the exclamation by Johnson that he can “see the sunshine” and that we are over the peak. This talk is dangerous. We are not out of the woods yet, as long as people are getting infected in their thousands and die in their hundreds, I cannot see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    1. It seems they have been using the care home sector as a dumping ground for covis 19 positive patients who eventually die there, often the deaths uncounted for the covid 19 figures. Since they haven’t been testing in care homes, GPs are unable to put covis 19 on the death certificates without that evidence. In Belgium the government counts all those in care home deemed to probably died of the virus.
      Now we have this – Accept coronavirus patients or face cash cut, care homes warned by government –

  2. Testing is an issue – for a number of reasons, but it provides no clear link with relative mortality between different countries. I’ve been surprised at the lack of any clear link when you plot the two variables (per million population) across all countries. Even given the questions about the data, you might expect to see *some* pattern. (R2 = 0.08)

    Then there is the odd question of relative mortality – if you look at an arbitrary cut-off of 75 per million, the countries lying above that point (i.e with reported higher mortality), they are overwhelmingly European countries. And they are not distinguished by generally low rates of testing.


    1. Testing alone is pointless. Testing without informing the supposedly-tested of their status is not only pointless, it’s insulting.
      Testing’s value is in enabling the tracing and quarantining of contacts, and it’s greatest value is in the early days when numbers are lower.
      What’s “odd” is expecting to see “clear links” when the categories tested, the numbers tested and the follow-up after testing vary randomly.

  3. Numerous experts on BBC radio saying key factor in getting people back to work is the public believing the government when they say it is safe to do so. Stunts like this do nothing to dispel the notion that we are being governed by used car salesmen. More worrying is the medias willingness to trumpet such obvious untruths. This is the same media that mocked Kim Jong – Uns reported hole in one bonanza yet are quite happy to herald this equally nonsensical story

    1. I think you need to be more worried about the things that the government have said are *not* safe – like going out..

    1. Indeed – this is the general direction that lockdown is coming from. Watch your civic backs!

  4. If a new People’s Party isn’t established by the time the Tories’ CV19 chickens come home to roost, the MSM will happily present Starmer as a viable alternative despite his puppy-like ‘opposition’.

    A genuine opportunity for radical change – lost. There isn’t much time.

    I intended this for the Burgon post, which keeps disappearing for some reason.

  5. I wonder if there’s going to be a spike in the birth rate in nine months?

      1. I can understand that the stress of lockdown will push some men into violence or greater violence.
        I can understand that some women will be trapped and suffering rape by such men – what I’m not sure I understand is why “third-born” specifically?
        Is it harder for a mother of two to escape an abusive relationship than a mother of one? If so I didn’t know that was a factor.

  6. The Labour party belongs to us not them
    They will leave given a little bit of encouragement
    Now where do we start

  7. Any evidence of action based on the information provided by these tests? What are those idiots going to do now…………”the fate of all mankind I fear is in the hands of fools” (King Crimson)?

  8. Former chief scientific adviser sets up rival to Sage in wake of secrecy row to offer alternative advice that Britons can follow on YouTube
    Sir David King was chief scientific adviser under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown
    Concerns have been raised about a lack of transparency within Sage
    Sir David was scathing about Dominic Cumming’s attendance at Sage meeting


  9. The Tories in this crisis are:
    D=DITHERING-act late=cost lives!
    I=INCOMPETENT PPE, tests,tracing
    R=RUSH or DNR do not rush 4 profit
    E=EVICT Tory Govt when this over!
    They were also lax re airports allowing flights in and not testing and Sunday Times reported 550 private jets from the super rich have landed in the UK from Covid 19 hotspots around the World unchecked and not tested!
    Oh when media attacks Left Parties economic polices we shouldn’t forget Tories have pumped £200b QE into the economy since crisis started and another £100b expected=£300b!
    Finally older people in care homes are often presented as though they never had any lives but like us they were workers once AND THEY BUILT THIS SOCIETY, WE OWE THEM, FIGHT FOR THEM!

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