Boris Johnson claimed his government “did everything we could” to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic and save lives.
Asked whether some of the 100,000 deaths from the virus in the UK could have been prevented, he said during a press conference:
“We did everything we could to minimise suffering and minimise loss of life in the country as a result of the pandemic and I am deeply sorry as a result of every life lost. What I can say is that the government will continue to minimise life lost as we go forward. I continue to urge people to follow that guidance, stay at home, protect the NHS, and save lives.”
Elsewhere during the press conference, he promised to take “full responsibility” for the government’s actions throughout the pandemic. He said:
“I am deeply sorry for every life that has been lost and as prime minister I take full responsibility for everything the government has done.”
But people don’t think that refusing to apologise for or even acknowledge the government’s failings looks much like taking “full responsibility”. And people are criticising Johnson for claiming to have done everything in his power to save lives when so many have been lost.
MPs including Angela Rayner and Caroline Lucas hit back at the prime minister.
Other people listed ways in which Johnson and his government did not do everything they could to protective lives from Covid-19.
Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out To Help Out’ scheme, which caused a “significant” increase in Covid-19 cases according to a Warwick University study, was particularly criticised.
As was the government’s rush to defend Dominic Cummings for breaking national lockdown rules.
In all, people found the prime minister’s refusal to acknowledge his mistakes directly “obscene" and “callous”.
Some called for him to resign.
The Covid-19 death toll in the UK is among the highest in Europe.
More people have now died from the virus than the Great Plague and every terror attack and war since 1945 in the UK alone.
It would be the least the government could do to approach these statistics with humility and hold their hands up for their mistakes and the mismanagement that clearly has occurred over the course of the last year.