Boris Johnson back, his crisis management on the hot seat

A police officer in Downing Street, Sunday April 26, where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in the evening after his recovery.
A police officer in Downing Street, Sunday April 26, where British Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrived in the evening after his recovery. HENRY NICHOLLS / REUTERS

Boris Johnson was impatient, his relatives said. After two weeks of recovery at Checkers – his official second home in north-west London – after falling seriously ill from Covid-19 in early April, the British Prime Minister returned to Downing Street on Sunday 26 April. The"Chief optimist", as the very conservative weekly puts it Spectator, will need all his energy to try to restore confidence in his government, under fire from critics on his management of the pandemic.

Last false step to date: the presence, revealed by the Guardian, of Dominic Cummings, principal and controversial adviser to Mr. Johnson, at at least one meeting of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), the scientific council supposed to produce independent opinions to the government. But there is also the sad toll of more than 20,000 coronavirus deaths (in the hospital alone) reached on Saturday April 25 (20,732 deaths on Sunday), while Patrick Vallance, the chief scientific adviser of Downing Street, said in late March that the country would get out " good " if this level is not crossed. There is still this official objective of 100,000 tests per day by the end of April which seems very difficult to achieve, without taking into account the absence of an articulated strategy to get out of containment when the peak of the pandemic in the country would have been reached around April 10.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also Coronavirus: Boris Johnson, released from the hospital but weakened, remains under pressure in the face of the carnage

Downing Street must finally answer for the deaths of the Covid-19 among the health personnel. The toll is very heavy: 61 doctors and nurses and 15 carers in retirement homes died from the disease, assured Helen Whately, Minister for Social Affairs, in the middle of last week. To believe the Daily Mail, just like the blog NursingNotes, run by nurses, the toll is said to be well over 100 victims. According to NursingNotes, the death toll was 129 on April 25.

Three major unions, Unison, the Royal College of Nursing and the Royal College of Midwives, called for a minute of silence in memory of the deceased, Tuesday, April 28, at 11 a.m. Downing Street was quick to join in: "It's a good idea, we support this initiative", said his spokesperson. Not sure that this display of empathy will be enough: the macabre count among doctors, nurses, paramedics or stretcher bearers poses a serious political problem for the government and the Conservative Party.

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