THE COVID report by two parliamentary select committees published this week has been correctly universally greeted as a damning indictment of the Tory government’s response to the pandemic.
In fact, this report by 22 MPs from all the main parties is nothing more than an attempt to whitewash the Tories from responsibility for the deaths of 150,000 in the UK from Covid during the pandemic.
The report’s criticism of the policies followed by the Johnson government invariably assert that monumental errors were made by ministers from the start of the pandemic but that at all times they were ‘guided’ by the best scientific advice.
In fact, from the start of the pandemic the Tories deliberately ignored not just the advice of those scientists with the greatest knowledge and experience of dealing with pandemics like Covid, but also the living experience of China, which successfully dealt with the virus.
In March 2020, the Tories were following the policy of ‘herd immunity’ in Britain to allow at least 60% of the population to get infected.
On 17 March 2020, the government’s chief scientific advisor Sir Patrick Vallance told MPs that keeping UK deaths below 20,000 would be a ‘good result’.
At the same time, the deformed workers state of China had enforced a total lockdown, with the full support of the working class, and mobilised an army of trained professionals, systematically moving throughout every community, testing and isolating all those infected, and treating them in specially built state hospitals.
It was this method that defeated the Covid virus in China, while in Britain the Tories pursued herd immunity, allowing the virus to run riot in the population and especially amongst the elderly in care homes.
The old and sick were discharged from hospitals, which fast became a breeding ground for coronavirus, without any attempt to test them, and even when it was known they were infected, to return them to the population to spread the virus.
The inquiry report called this a ‘fatalistic decision’ in the early stages of the pandemic that cost the lives of many thousands, in what it called ‘one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced’.
But this catastrophic failure to follow the effective actions taken in China, the report claims, was a result of the Tories and their scientific advisors being gripped by ‘group think’.
Every decision from delaying lockdown in March 2020, and refusing to organise a test and trace system that worked, is put down in the inquiry report to being an ‘inexcusable oversight’.
Herd immunity, the report declares, was not a deliberate policy but due to a ‘degree of fatalism that made it the inevitable outcome.’
This is a complete whitewash.
The policy of herd immunity was not some accident but a deliberate decision to keep capitalism open at the expense of thousands of lives.
The lockdown at the end of March 2020 only took place as a result of the refusal of workers and youth to be herded into unsafe jobs and schools and the rising tide of anger against a system that prized profit above the lives of people.
It was swiftly followed by a reopening that predictably led to a massive second wave of infections and deaths forcing another lockdown.
The inquiry claims that the vaccine roll-out has ‘redeemed’ the Tories – ignoring the fact that, despite the vaccine roll-out, the UK is still recording 500 Covid deaths a week and has the eighth highest Covid death rates in the world.
The Tories have rejected all measures to contain Covid in favour of Johnson’s ‘Freedom Day’, throwing open schools, workplaces and travel and allowing the pandemic to once more spread.
Herd immunity is alive and kicking under a capitalist system where the lives of workers count for nothing compared to the profits of the ruling class.
No number of inquiries will bring an end to this murderous policy or expose the real crimes of capitalism.
There is only one way to end herd immunity, and put an end to the thousands of deaths it is still causing, and that is to put an end to capitalism with a socialist revolution and to advance via a nationalised and planned economy to socialism.