The country’s COVID-19 death toll is nearing 100,000. Will it matter?
Britain will soon pass the grimmest of milestones: 100,000 people dead from COVID-19. This appalling tally is higher than anywhere else in Europe, and almost twice that of Germany, the biggest country on the continent. Depending on how it is measured, Britain is now the second-worst-hit nation on Earth relative to its size.
There is simply no escaping the reality that the country has suffered a catastrophic failure of governance. On March 17, six days before Boris Johnson ordered Britain’s first full national lockdown, his chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance, told members of Parliament that, based on modeling provided to the government, a “good” outcome over the course of the pandemic would be if deaths were kept below 20,000.