“I know that there will be many people looking now at our apparent success”

Boris Johnson, Downing Street Statement

April 27, 2020

Facts

After returning to work after suffering from Coronavirus on 27 April 2020, Boris Johnson said: “I know that there will be many people looking now at our apparent success”. He was referring to the UK’s coronavirus response.

In reality, the figures show the UK has been one of the least successful nations in tackling the virus. There were already 20,000 dead at the time of Johnson’s claim, with many predicting the UK would soon overtake Italy in terms of the number of fatalities. On 5 May 2020, the UK became the nation with the highest number of deaths in Europe and the second globally, behind the US. 

While these are not definitive figures as different countries measure deaths in different ways, it seems absurd to assume other countries would look to the UK as an example of good practice or success.

Verdict

Boris Johnson’s assertion was so at odds with the terrible truth about Britain’s mortality rate that it acquired a savage irony.

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