Brexit Party leader has given his assessment of the British coronavirus experience to Breitbart News, blaming government “dither” as infected passengers travelled to the island nation en masse and unchecked from countries where the Chinese virus had already taken hold.
“What became absolutely blindingly obvious by the first week of March was that this was a very, very unpleasant virus, and it most certainly wasn’t flu, just given the sheer number of people that were getting pneumonia,” Farage recalled.
“[But] despite the fact they were two to three weeks ahead of us, despite the fact we had this extraordinary warning, a remarkable thing happened: on the day in mid-March when the region of Lombardy [in Italy] was locked down, so bad was the crisis in Milan and in the surrounding towns, on that very day — it was incredible — 17 flights came into the United Kingdom from Milan… without a single person being temperature tested, without a single person being asked to self-isolate, without a single person being given any advice,” he explained.
“And, sure as sure, what really happened was a lot of people who had been on skiing holidays to Italy came back with the virus and it started spreading in our community” — resulting, ultimately, in the British national lockdown, although only after Prime Minister Boris Johnson “dithered for three, four days” in which “infection rates in Britain doubled”.
Indeed, in contrast to countries such as the United States, which began banning flights from China as early as January, Boris Johnson’s administration has to this day not banned travel from any country, nor even imposed a requirement for travellers to self-isolate for a period after their arrival.
(It does appear that a 14-day quarantine period will, finally, be introduced in June — just as other countries are beginning to relax travel restrictions — but France will be exempted, despite the fact it is currently allowing illegal migrants from infectious camps to sail for Britain in record numbers, and so will foreign workers being flown in from Romania and Bulgaria, even as Britons languish on reduced furlough pay or unemployment benefits.)
Exclusive: Farage’s French Migrant Escort Ship Also ‘Handed Over’ Pett Level Migrants Last Week https://t.co/SdRATjMHQ1
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) May 21, 2020
The Brexit Party leader said he did support locking down initially “because we were fighting a completely unknown enemy” and “needed to buy ourselves time”, but criticised elements of implementation — particularly the “disaster” of sending patients “from National Health [Service] hospitals back into care homes who then spread the virus” among the country’s vulnerable elderly.
“The problem with coronavirus, the problem is that it’s not just the virus that’s killing people, it’s other medical conditions where people are now not being treated,” he added, suggesting excess deaths over could be co as high as 53,000 so far.
He added, however, that in his estimation Britain was not only “too slow to react to the crisis” but is now “too slow coming out of the crisis”, with the economy remaining in a state of “paralysis” despite the infection rate in hotspots such as London having fallen substantially.
“We are… reaching a position where, medically, we are killing a huge number of people in Britain because they’re not getting any treatment [for non-coronavirus health issues]… I think economically we are putting ourselves into a position where just so many of the small, self-employed little entrepreneurs, be they shopkeepers, be they people running electricians’ businesses — I mean, some of these guys are simply going to go bust,” Farage lamented.
“And goodness knows, just think what the health effects of a genuine serious depression would be in terms of people’s mental health and everything else,” he warned, questioning why the government will not allow, for example, local pubs to begin serving socially-distanced customers in outdoor beer gardens already to give them a shot at getting back on their feet.
Farage also discussed his recent investigative reporting on the ongoing migrant crisis in the English Channel with Breitbart, which you can read about and listen to here.
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