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The Guardian view on Boris Johnson: pandemic authority draining away | Editorial

The government’s own scientists, the Labour party and the public favour greater caution. But it’s Tory MPs who call the shots

Although Britain’s Covid-19 death numbers are nowhere near their peak, it is sobering to note that the first person has died with the new Omicron variant. Daily infections have reached the highest level since January. Omicron is spreading like wildfire. It also seems to have unusual capacity for reinfection – leading some to conclude, in haste, that its symptoms are milder. Vaccines seem less effective against this new variant. There will almost certainly be needless deaths, possibly tens of thousands of lives lost in months, if nothing is done. That is why the government needs to face the facts and take serious action.

It has so far failed to do so. History is not made in a vacuum. The country has the worst possible prime minister, leading the worst possible party of the worst possible persuasion at the worst possible time. Boris Johnson’s lack of moral probity, grasp of detail and competence has caught up with him in the polls – draining the authority he needs in a pandemic. Opportunists, minimal statists and troublemakers in the Conservative party sense an opening to bring Mr Johnson to heel and regard the inadequate restrictions announced as going too far to vote for. In favour of greater caution are the government’s own scientists, the Labour party and the public, but it’s Tory MPs who increasingly call the shots.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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