For those interested in objective reports on controversial health events, the Forum report in the Irish Examiner on Saturday, July 4 is the best I have read on the sad omni-shambles that has characterised the Johnson regimes response to Covid-19.
To dispel doubts on the quality of the UK government's actions, Dr Richard Horton, longtime Editor-in-chief of the Lancet tweeted on April 19th, “When you see supposedly independent medical advisors to government tell what are manifest untruths to shore up a political regime whose credibility is rapidly collapsing, you have to say that those advisors have lost their integrity and our trust.”
The detail in the Forum is assembled like a case history in hospital. The failures in the testing and tracing element of pandemic containment are starkly laid out.
The death toll in the UK is shocking. Johns Hopkins Bulletin Board reports 44,476 deaths by June 7 which is 655 deaths per million. This is only behind the Belgian figure of 843 per million.
There were 1,742 deaths (358 per million) in Ireland to the same date. The idea that the NHS in the UK is superior to the HSE here does not withstand objective scrutiny.
Could we in Ireland have done better?
Yes of course! Masks, nursing homes, meat plants, hospitals and more, all could have done better.
But the lionization of the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan is a current example of the groupthink virus described in the book review written by David Kernek of “Groupthink: a study in self-delusion” by Christopher Booker in the Weekend Section of the Irish Examiner.
I have called out in the printed media all the state organs for manifest failures but the propaganda and groupthink trumps analytical thought.
Professor Bill Tormey
163 Glasnevin Avenue