Coronavirus: Jenny Harries Criticized for “Condescending” Comment on “Exemplary Preparation” | UK News


Dr. Jenny Harries faces criticism after hailing UK coronavirus preparation as “exemplary” and suggesting that the conversation could be “more adult” when discussing PPE supplies.

Speaking at the government’s daily press conference on Sunday, the Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMO) said the existence of a “pandemic stock” was a “very high quality brand” of readiness.

The UK, she said, “Has been an international example of preparation. The fact that there is a pandemic stock is therefore considered to be a very high quality mark of an internationally prepared country. “

Regarding recent concerns about the lack individual protection equipment for front-line staff, she suggested that an “older” conversation could take place about the offer.

She also defended the global plan to fight disease, claiming that the confinement phase was “very successful”.

But his comments on Sunday afternoon, which come as the number of deaths in the UK hospital is COVID-19 exceeded 16,000were quick to draw criticism from health and social service figures who said it had been “condescending”.

Professor Anthony Costello of the Institute for Global Health at University College London said he “couldn’t believe” the comments he had heard, noting that Ms. Harries “still believed that politics screening in the UK was correct. “

He added, “And she doesn’t understand the links between tests and COVID mortality rates. Is this the policy of the CMO? If so, they should resign. “

Meanwhile, Birmingham GP Rizwanul Haq called the comments “a ridiculous and condescending statement,” adding, “I don’t see her volunteering to be on the front lines without proper PPE. “

Care worker Joy Parry of Norfolk said she found the same remark “sneaky” and “condescending to the extreme”.

She said, “Come do a shift by my side, reuse single-use PPE and show me how it is done. “

Responding generally to the press conference, Devi Sridhar, professor and president of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, said “some humility” looking at how the UK could have performed better “would great to see. “

She added, “What I would like to hear:” We made a mistake and did not prepare. We underestimated this virus and treated it like a flu that would cross the population.

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“We have not protected our front line staff and our most precious resource. But now let’s try to listen and improve our response. “

The focus on the supply of PPE has been increased in recent days after it was revealed that some hospitals were out of their last 24 hours of protective gowns, and that a shipment was due to arrive from Turkey on Sunday . had been delayed.

He comes after a Sunday Times investigation said Prime Minister Boris Johnson did not attend COBRA’s first five emergency meetings before the UK epidemic, and further said the government had missed a number of opportunities to mitigate the ‘impact.

In response, a government spokesperson said the article contained “a series of lies and errors and actively distorts the enormous amount of work that was going on in government in the early stages of the coronavirus epidemic” .

Commenting on concerns about PPE, Harries said the conversations were “rightly” focused on dresses and that she “was very aware” of the considerations regarding glasses and masks.

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But, she said, “although there may be elements of distribution issues across the UK – at different times and in different places – it is a huge draw on services we have never seen before.

“We have managed – despite reporting many potential deficits – to continue supplying into the future. “

The management of current supplies has also used a “risk mitigation method,” she said, which means turning to the most exposed patients and workers across the country.

“We just need to think carefully about what has been accomplished and the challenges – which are recognized – ahead,” she said.

Both Downing Street and the Department of Health were invited for comment.


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