12 weeks ago, Boris Johnson said that coronavirus would have already 'been sent packing'

12 weeks ago, Boris Johnson said that coronavirus would have already 'been sent packing'

Yesterday marked exactly 12 weeks since Boris Johnson addressed the nation, suggesting it would take just 12 weeks to "turn the tide" on coronavirus.

On Thursday 19 March, the prime minister claimed:

We can turn the tide within the next 12 weeks and I’m absolutely confident we can send coronavirus packing in this country if we take the steps outlined.

So... how has that worked out?

Well, four days later the UK entered lockdown. Then the prime minister got coronavirus, as did a number of other ministers and advisers.

Everyone started clapping for carers and the government tried to jump on the bandwagonbut it didn't end well. Piers Morgan got woke. There was a heatwave and lots of people got angry about gardens,

Then lockdown was "eased" and suddenly we were all arguing about cleaners.

The man who essentially came up with the idea of lockdown couldn't stick to it and had to resign in disgrace for sneaking around to rendezvous with his girlfriend. Of course, we then had Dominic Cummings and Barnard Castle-gate, which honestly, we're still not over.

Folks, we've done a lot. It seems the only thing we haven't done is actually "send coronavirus packing". It's almost as if Boris Johnson was talking utter unsubstantiated nonsense.

As mildly amusing as all the bizarre events of the past 12 weeks may seem, we must not forget that the shambolic nature of the government's response has had disastrous consequences for the country.

Twelve weeks ago the government’s chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, said less than 20,000 deaths would be “a good outcome”. The death toll now is double that figure, making the UK the worst affected country in Europe.

Is this what "sending coronavirus packing" was supposed to look like?

At the end of yesterday, exactly 12 weeks after the statement, 1,266 people tested positive for coronavirus, and 151 died.

Boris Johnson has reopened schools and all shops can go back to normal on Monday, with pubs, restaurants and hairdressers due to follow suit next month, which some will feel is much-needed give that GDP fell by 20 per cent in the UK in April, the largest slump in recorded history.

Meanwhile, scientists are warning of a potential "second wave". Although many of us may are tired of talking about it, coronavirus is still a very real threat to people across the UK.

Ultimately, it's hard not to concede the fact that Boris Johnson got it very very wrong.

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