Analysis

Government hides number of people tested for 8th day in a row and adds new category as Johnson prepares to fake 200,000 test claim

Figures – and explanations – shift, change and disappear altogether

Eighth day in a row…

The government has withheld data for the number of people tested for the last eight consecutive days, as today’s deadline approached for Boris Johnson’s promise of 200,000 tests a day to be tested for coronavirus to be met.

Starting 24 May – reporting on the previous day’s performance – the number of people tested has been ‘unavailable’:

Every day since, the page has shown the same, as the Wayback Machine archive proves – and today’s page, showing yesterday’s performance, is no different:

The previous available data for people tested suggests that the government is testing not much more than half as many people per day as the number of tests it claims to have carried out, so it’s likely that even last month’s promise of just 100,000 people a day is still not being met:

At the bottom of the page the government attempts to explain the absence of a number for people tested – but that explanation itself has changed at least once:

Spot the difference…

And over the last few days, the government has started to add a new figure – for testing ‘capacity‘. This appeared, for the first time ever, on Wednesday, having not been there the day before or on any day previously:

This change appears to be preparation for Johnson to claim he fulfilled his Commons promise. While during Prime Minister’s Questions he said there would be 200,000 tests a day, his panicked spin team quickly put out a briefing that what he meant was ‘capacity’ of 200,000 a day. But capacity is amorphous and unprovable, allowing Johnson to claim whatever he wants.

Hancock’s false claims to have met his April target of 100,000 tests a day

And for good measure, having for weeks reported hospital and non-hospital deaths separately – and facing justified horror at the number of people in care homes that its approach has killed – the government will now merge both figures, so it won’t have to show details during its daily press conferences:

Boris Johnson rashly claimed in the Commons that by the end of May the government would be performing 200,000 tests a day by today. Even though that test was immediately watered down by his spin team, it appears that the number of people tested would show that testing has hardly increased at all – so that number has, for ‘reasons’ that appear to be variable, conveniently disappeared entirely from the government’s official data for more than the week before the deadline.

And at the same time, now divorced from any sense-checking by the absence of the ‘people tested’ numbers, a new ‘capacity’ number has miraculously appeared.

The government has been shown to have moved the goalposts at the end of April so Johnson and Hancock could lie about meeting their 100,000-people-a-day promise. If anyone feels inclined to believe the above shifts and omissions are not preparation for Johnson to make another bogus claim of ‘success’ tomorrow, I’m sure there will be a queue of people offering to sell you a bridge.

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11 comments

  1. Flu Vaccine Deadlier than Covid19

    Posted: 29 May 2020 09:00 PM PDT

    New CDC data reveals the COVID death rate at a fraction of what previous models predicted. Del presents an analogy, using the most popular flu shot in America which begs the question, why are we still locked down?

  2. Correct but Bojo and his comedy scientists couldn’t organise a piss up in a brewery. Lockdown is dead, no one is bothering with social distancing anymore, we are just waiting for Bojo to show us how he’s going to walk away from this car crash of an economic disaster.

  3. Covid19 is far worse than ‘flu.
    ONC ‘s latest figures state there has been at least 60,000 incremental deaths over and above average death rate of flu.

  4. Alistair Campbell named by Anonymous dump on Donald Trump’s paedophilic behaviours…

      1. @Tim

        Every time I post a link it disappears into nothing…

        Search Twitter. #Anonymous

        The dirt they are exposing is insane!

      2. I urge all of you to get onto Twitter and start seeing what’s been posted…

        I’m in so much shock it’s easy to to miss things.

        The 1% are seriously being hammered right now

  5. 100,000 people tested daily was the target the government set by end of April.
    They then bragged they’d achieved it. The reality was their 122,000 figure related to number of tests, NOT number of people.
    At that time the Gov website was reporting daily two sets of figures:-

    Number of tests
    Number of people tested.

    At end of April this table stated c76,000 people had been tested.

    Subsequently, the people tested daily, ( up to the day they stopped publishing the figures ), had not exceeded this number.

  6. 205,634 tests just announced on BBC, not sure if they meant for yesterday or today.
    “Capacity” obviously, not actual tests. That would be silly.
    Phew!
    Great that they did whatever it took to hit their target, even if it meant a little fiddling here and there. And a day early! Who’d have guessed?

  7. I feel trapped.

    We have a government that lies and fails

    And no Opposition.

  8. Worldwide, within a quarter of a year, there has been no more than 250,000 deaths from Covid-19, compared to 1.5 million deaths [25,100 in Germany] during the influenza wave 2017/18.

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