Report Says UK’s Slow Virus Lockdown Cost 1000s Of Lives

FILE - In this Tuesday, March 23, 2021 file photo, people pass over a quiet Westminster Bridge, backdropped by the scaffolded Houses of Parliament and the Elizabeth Tower, known as Big Ben, in London, during England's third coronavirus lockdown. The British government waited too long to impose a lockdown in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, missing a chance to contain the disease and leading to thousands of unnecessary deaths, lawmakers concluded Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 in a hard-hitting report. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

(AP) — A U.K. parliamentary report says Britain’s Conservative government waited too long to impose a lockdown early in the COVID-19 pandemic, a delay that cost thousands of lives.

A joint report from the House of Commons’ science and health committees published Tuesday says the deadly delay resulted from ministers’ failure to question the recommendations of scientific advisers, resulting in a dangerous level of “groupthink.” It was only when the National Health Service risked being overwhelmed by rapidly rising infections that Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government finally ordered a lockdown.

Cabinet minister Stephen Barclay defended the government’s response. He says “decisions were taken on the evidence and the scientific advice at the time.”


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