US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — On Friday before Easter, Prime Minister Boris Johnson was discharged from the hospital where he spent a week receiving treatment from Covid-19, including three days in intensive care. “Boris has come out, and it’s really a great Friday,” the Sun announced joyfully. Other publications spoke in detail about his “cheerful mood”. On that day, the total number of deaths from a coronavirus pandemic in Britain amounted to 8,000 people, and over the day the number of deaths reached 900.
On Easter weekend, the flow of information about how Joson’s pregnant partner wished him recovery, and what films he watched in the hospital, created a sharp dissonance with an avalanche of messages about grief and suffering that shock the country. These are lost lives, and the fatigue of health workers who treat patients with their last strength, and the fear of death alone.
Everyone, including Johnson’s critics, was relieved that the danger had passed for him. But all over the country, people were dying in the thousands, and most likely this was the result of the wrong leadership and negligence that were admitted under him. For me, this discord turned out to be too sharp.
Of course, people were rightly concerned about Johnson’s health. When the country’s leader is in critical condition, this is a very unpleasant shake-up, especially in a pandemic that causes widespread concern. But in the British media, the prime minister’s condition supplanted concern for the rest, and the selfless enthusiasm for his recovery prevented a careful study of the failures of his government.
First of all, we are talking about the fact that the government was not able to stock up in sufficient quantities with the most important means of protection that physicians and other health workers needed. This is partly due to the fact that it missed out on three opportunities to take part in the EU wholesale procurement scheme.
The government made a bold promise to check 100,000 people a day for coronavirus by the end of the month. But today it does not do even a tenth of these tests, and does not expand the testing of doctors and social workers who are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic. A month ago, it was begging British manufacturers to establish the production of mechanical ventilation devices for the treatment of seriously ill Covid-19, as they were sorely lacking, but did not achieve much success.
After Johnson’s hospitalization, right-wing commentators began to write servilely about how our Prime Minister is noble and selfless, and how much the people love him. A social campaign began under the slogan “Applaud Johnson,” which was picked up by journalists and politicians. But all this was very inappropriate. It was an imitation of the nationwide support that the country today expresses to healthcare providers.
This is truly genuine support, which has become a weekly ritual. People all over the country, being in isolation, look out of the windows and applaud those who treat the sick and save lives. The British readily applaud the health service, which even in ordinary times is a national treasure. But applauding the leader of the country is something strange. Sun on its first page announced: “He stayed at work for you … Now you are praying at home for him.” So the newspaper quailled in its own way the slogan used by physicians from all over the world treating Covid-19 patients around the clock: “We stay at work for you, and you stay at home for us.”
At work, Johnson set a terrible example, carelessly stating that he shook hands with Covid-19 patients. With his frivolous jokes, he nullified all those warnings and recommendations given by the health authorities. Meanwhile, dozens of doctors and nurses were dying of the virus, including those retirees who responded to government calls and returned to work to fight the pandemic. There were reports that doctors were “intimidated and ashamed”, forcing the treatment of Covid-19 patients without the necessary personal protective equipment, although the WHO warned in early February that they would be needed in large quantities.
Having discharged from the hospital, Johnson praised the National Health Service for saving his life. He highlighted two nurses – both migrant workers. But his party recently promised to increase the annual tax for labor migrants for using national health services, extending its effect after Brexit to those who arrive in Britain from EU countries. In announcing these changes in November, Minister of Health Matt Hancock tweeted, “We have a National Health Service, not an International.” Conservatives chronically underfunded the NHA and made it clear to the migrants who work in it, and now they are also dying that they are an undesirable burden. But now this party is loudly supporting and approving the work of healthcare.
Last week, a statement was made that, due to Johnson’s disease, the nation rallied, overcoming the chaos and disagreement of Brexit. “The Economist” (The Economist) notes that the ailment of a man who once split the country, now united it. But wishing him recovery and demonstrating their unity in this, people at the same time feel a sense of despair, because the number of dead has exceeded 12,000. But this figure is not complete, since it does not include the dead at home and in nursing homes. The elderly, whom the state promised to protect, are most at risk of infection and are very worried about their fate, because there are about 4,000 dead among them. While this is going on in the UK, in the US, things are arguably worst, with many families voicing their dismay and looking to a nursing home negligence attorney, IL and other states have to offer should their loved ones fall ill from the virus.
Terrible forecasts are now emerging that mortality from coronavirus in Britain may be the highest in Europe, although she had time to prepare when she watched the tragedies in Italy and Spain. Experts emphasize that in order to overcome the crisis, it was necessary to introduce a self-isolation regime earlier, it was better to plan work, work out testing measures on the ground and track contacts. Some of this can still be done – and it is necessary.
But instead of focusing on urgent issues, the mass media praising and supporting Johnson equate his health and the well-being of the whole country, and they see his recovery as a symbol of national resilience. Under his leadership, Britain has become shamefully vulnerable and unprepared for trials, but Johnson’s popularity is growing. Thanks to the applauding British media, any accusations against the prime minister will bounce off him like a tennis ball, and the image of a superhero will be sculpted from his fleeting contact with the virus.
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