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The Guardian view on the Covid-19 inquiry: a week that has probed deep | Editorial

The absence of national planning for the pandemic and Boris Johnson’s shameful leadership are in the spotlight

Lady Hallett has been holding hearings of the UK Covid-19 inquiry for much of the past two months. It is only this week, however, that the hearings have forced their way to the top of the news. There is no mystery about the reason. The evidence to the inquiry by senior civil servants, government advisers and health chiefs this week has been extraordinary and shocking.

For most of us, the shock has been the graphic reminders from those at the heart of government of how poorly the UK state was prepared for the Covid pandemic, of how indecisively the government responded, and of the bitter rivalries between some of those taking life-and-death decisions at the top. Among the multiple serious issues that have been aired in the past four days, two in particular stand out: the absence of any national planning for the pandemic and the inadequacy of Boris Johnson’s leadership.

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