READER’S LETTER: From day one the UK government has failed to act quickly enough to deal with coronavirus crisis

PUBLISHED: 12:00 30 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:44 30 March 2020

Reader John Smithee says that

Reader John Smithee says that "from day one the UK government has failed to act quickly enough to deal with coronavirus crisis". Prime Minister Boris Johnson is pictured.

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The lockdown measures introduced by Boris Johnson have already been employed by governments internationally as a serious measure to combat coronavirus.

But from day one this government has failed to act quickly enough to deal with the crisis.

As the editor-in-chief of the medical journal the Lancet said: “These dangers were clear from the very beginning. We have wasted seven weeks”.

With only 3,700 adult critical care beds and 8,000 ventilators in the NHS, medical staff could soon be faced with making terrible decisions about who should live or die, as is already happening in Italy.

Urgent action is needed. All private medical facilities must be seized and integrated into the NHS - and not a penny paid to the private profiteers.

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Boris Johnson is pleading with manufacturing industry to help with producing ventilators. But for private companies profit always come first.

The pharmaceutical companies were researching a coronavirus vaccine during the 2003 Sars epidemic but abandoned it when the epidemic ended because they no longer had a profitable market.

These companies should be brought into public ownership, under democratic workers’ control. Big pharma should be integrated into the NHS to guarantee research and the production and supply of medicines, vaccines and treatments.

The economy needs a coordinated plan of production and distribution of food, medical equipment and supplies, and other goods.

But that will only be possible if the major manufacturing, service and financial industries are taken into public ownership and control.

Then workers, consumers and service users could democratically decide what will be produced, where it will be distributed, and guarantee a decent income for everyone.


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