Look at Boris Johnson’s face.
That is the face of a man who battled the flu and lived to tell the tale.
That is the face of a frightened man who refuses to take any chances.
That is the face of a man who understands that no risk is worth taking.
The UK faces tough coronavirus curbs until 2021 amid claims Boris Johnson’s personal battle with the disease has made him ‘tentative’ about lifting lockdown.
Tories have suggested the PM is ‘frightened’ of taking chances with the deadly virus after his own close call, despite fears the economic havoc might prove even more damaging to public health.
The pressure is intensifying on ministers to plot a way out of the crisis, but divisions have emerged between cautious ‘doves’ and ‘hawks’ who believe the NHS has capacity and would prefer to loosen the draconian social distancing measures earlier.
The PM has intervened from his recuperation at Chequers to snuff out speculation about an imminent easing, with Downing Street making clear his priority is avoiding a ‘second peak’ in the outbreak.
There are reports Mr Johnson’s inner circle has stopped using the phrase ‘exit strategy’ and instead wants to signal a ‘next phase’ of lockdown, with varying levels of restrictions set to continue for the rest of the year until the virus gets ‘close to eradication’ or a vaccine is found. Australia has successfully suppressed cases to very low numbers.
The ‘doves’ have been supported by grim behind-the-scenes warnings from scientists, who have advised that control of the outbreak is still so uncertain that even slight changes to the curbs on normal life could result in a disastrous flare-up.
Nothing is worth doing if it risks people’s lives.
This is not a joke. People’s lives are at risk.
These are people’s lives we’re talking about here.
Do you understand how serious this is? People could develop a fever and a cough.
People in their 80s may even die.
We cannot risk people interacting with the outside world ever again.
We must declare a proper quarantine and force everyone to live inside high security biological research laboratories.
It’s the only practical way to keep viruses away.