UPDATED: Commons committees’ report says government’s Covid response was “one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced”

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The “Lessons learnt to date” report has been published by two key House of Commons committees.

It says the government’s early planning was based on a risk assessment that a pandemic would result in 100 deaths and be like flu: “the likelihood of an emerging infectious disease spreading within the UK is assessed to be lower than that of a pandemic flu”.

It lists a catalogue of errors concluding:

…decisions on lockdowns and social distancing during the early weeks of the pandemic – and the advice that led to them – rank as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced.

You can read the full report here.

The report describes an almost unimaginable slow motion leadership crisis. At every stage the government were warned.

There was a snail’s pace response in the early months, the abject failure of track and trace and the failure to pay self-isolating people properly. The Liberal Democrats and others begged the government to change course but they refused to listen.

There were far too many deaths and far too many funerals that, often, loved ones could only watch online.

The sheer scale of the government’s failures are only now coming to light while the memories, of those who lost loved ones, are still raw.

Sarah Olney, our health spokesperson, has tweeted:

Here is Layla Moran’s response:

Updated at 11:19 12/10/2021 with Sarah and Layla’s responses.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.