The collective memory, the memories of the front like medical workers and the records in all manner of media outlets are wrong. The PPE shortage in the early months of the pandemic was an illusion, maybe a few shortages locally. That’s according to Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
He is blind to PPE shortages and the consequences. His appointment at Specsavers is overdue. Today, Layla Moran takes Hancock to task and tells of harrowing evidence she has heard from families who lost loved ones to Covid caught on wards, and from NHS and care home staff who were left without adequate PPE.
We all recall the images of frontline health staff wearing bin bags in the early days of the pandemic. NHS Providers told the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Coronavirus that supplies were “dangerously low” at some points and a dearth of gowns and visors left frontline staff in fear. Not so Matt Hancock told the Commons health and science select committee yesterday: “We’ve looked into this and there is no evidence that I have seen that a shortage of PPE provision led to anyone dying of Covid.” Quoted in the Sun, he said: I don’t deny at all there were challenges in individual areas – there was never a national shortage of PPE because of the action that we took.”
Layla Moran, chair of the APPG was distinctly unimpressed. Quoted in the Mirror today, she says:
Our cross-party group has received harrowing evidence from families who lost loved ones to Covid caught on wards and from NHS and care home staff who were left without adequate PPE. The Health Secretary’s comments are an insult to the frontline staff who have repeatedly risked their own safety throughout this pandemic, often without adequate protection.
We have heard first hand how a shortage of personal protective equipment has led to unnecessary deaths and leaving many individuals living with the life altering impact of long Covid.
Much of the media isn’t impressed either. Newshound usually thinks the only thing the Daily Star is good for is the Newmoggie’s litter tray but he makes an exception on this occasion:
Friday’s Daily STAR: “PINOCOCO” #TomorrowsPapersToday pic.twitter.com/TQtQ6peBTC
— Allie Hodgkins-Brown (@AllieHBNews) June 10, 2021
* Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.