MP Rosie Cooper is calling for “a comprehensive public inquiry” into the Governement’s response to the Covid pandemic after the ‘Coronavirus: lessons learned to date’ report was published.
The document was put together by the Health and Social Care Committee, which the West Lancashire MP is a member of, along with the Science and Technology Committee, and MPs from all parties.
The report states the UK’s early response to the pandemic was one of this country’s worst public health failures.
In particular, it is critical of the delay in introducing the first lockdown and of the money spent on Test and Trace.
It states: “As a result, decisions on lockdowns and social distancing during the early weeks of the pandemic - and the advice that led to them - rank as one of the most important public health failures the United Kingdom has ever experienced.
“This happened despite the UK counting on some of the best expertise available anywhere in the world, and despite having an open, democratic system that allowed plentiful challenge.
“Painful though it is, the UK must learn what lessons it can of why this happened if we are to ensure it is not repeated.”
The document does mention successes, such as the vaccination rollout.
Ms Cooper said the report was “absolutely damning” and added: “The findings are clear, that throughout the pandemic the Government made reactive decisions, too late to make enough of a difference, costing thousands of lives.
“They failed to proactively make decisions based on evidence of the progression of Covid-19 in other countries and did not challenge poor scientific advice.
“We now urgently need a comprehensive Public Inquiry as there are areas and evidence that was not available to the committee which need to be examined.
“The public deserve a clear and detailed investigation into every aspect of the Government’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and we have a duty to give grieving families honest and impartial answers to their many unanswered questions.
“Only a full-scale Public Inquiry will provide the much needed answers on failings such as the discharge of Covid-19 patients to care homes, failure to protect social care and allegations of blanket do-not-resuscitate orders (DNR) issued to people with learning disabilities.”