Coronavirus Hokey Pokey

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Dear Prime Minister's Office,

I am confused by your governments various policies and by various ministers and advisors giving interviews which contradict each other on the Coronavirus situation.

The government wants people to return to work in large numbers to fill the cities back up and get the economy going.

Then the government states that people should be scared and young people should be concerned that they could infect their grannies (seriously one of your ministers said this!).

The government has banned people from gathering in groups of more than 6 people even if they are outside and more than 2 metres apart. However if it is a restaurant or a pub you can have well over 15 people indoors and from various households as long as they are 2m apart !

Travel advice also seems to change every few days leaving the public and in some cases other countries totally bewildered.

We now have a chap called Van-Tam (one of your medical advisers) scaring everyone and spouting forth that the virus is out of control even though the actual death figures are still very low and there is no danger of the NHS being overwhelmed!!

When the lock down was first implemented the public were told that these measure were to SUPPRESS the virus and to ensure that the NHS was not OVERWHELMED.

Once this was achieved we could then manage the situation.

This has been achieved and the nightingale hospitals were not even needed, so why are we destroying the mental health of the entire country by continuing with lock downs and scaring people half to death. At the same time the government is contradicting itself by urging people back to physical work places and giving away eat out vouchers to get people to gather in large numbers indoors to eat restaurant food!

Somewhere along the way the suppression and save the NHS message has got lost and career doomsayers and self publicists have taken control and confused lock down as a way to beat the virus when it is (and always was) a measure to suppress the virus. Most scientist have observed that the virus is in general circulation and that we have to live with it (like other viruses). It is not a second or third wave it is just in general circulation.

In view of the above, please can you provide the following information:

1. Please can you confirm whether there is any specific government group co-ordinating the coronavirus response?

2. Is the governments COBRA committee involved in dealing with the virus

3. Has anyone been appointed to ensure that ministers, civil servants and un-elected advisors do not send out mixed messages to the public.

4. Has anyone or any body been set up to ensure that the governments policies do not clash or contradict each other? This would avoid daft things like opening pubs months before opening schools etc.

5. Does the government have a published strategy similar to the strategy in Scotland.

Yours faithfully,

james mclean

Cabinet Office FOI Team,

Our ref: FOI2020/12243


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