UK Chancellor ‘Concerned’ by Health Technocrats ‘Moving the Goalposts’ to Keep Lockdown

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Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer is “concerned” that health technocrats are “moving the goalposts” in order to justify keeping the country locked down, reports suggest.

Rishi Sunak, technically the Second Lord of the Treasury — Boris Johnson is the First — but in practice the country’s chief finance minister, is reportedly keen to see the lockdown ease as soon as possible, as small business owners and workers buckle under the strain of a third national lockdown (and, for many, multiple rounds of punishing regional lockdowns).

The Chancellor is “concerned”, however, that the scientists and public health officials driving much of the government’s coronavirus response are “moving the goalposts” in order to justify staying locked down, according to a source who confided in the Telegraph.

“Rishi remains where he has been throughout the pandemic – he is pro opening as quickly and as safely as possible,” said the source, described by the newspaper as “an ally” of the finance minister.

“This needs to be the last time we [lock down the country]. This is the fat lady sings moment. We can’t lock down again. Rishi is concerned that the scientists have been moving the goalposts in recent weeks. It’s no longer just about hospitalisations and protecting the NHS but cases and case numbers,” they explained.

“Now the target seems to be that we need to keep cases down overall, which wasn’t the original aim of the lockdown. Six months ago, the goal was protecting the most vulnerable who end up hospitalised with Covid. Over the last few weeks, the goalposts seem to have shifted with the new variants. The talk has switched to becoming Covid-free.”

The government’s pandemic strategy has indeed moved dramatically since the early days of the pandemic, when the official line on restrictions was that they would be in place for “three weeks to stop the spread”.

It is now no longer even clear if mass vaccination will be sufficient for a true return to normality, with Deputy Chief Medical Officer Jonathan Van-Tam having suggested that inoculations will cease to be effective after a number of months, and that people may “choose” to continue masking up and sanitising their hands in perpetuity.

“I don’t think we are ever going to take this virus away out of humankind,” the technocrat said recently.

“I think the virus is going to continue to change over time, as the disease has already shown signs of doing — and I think the virus is likely to be with us probably for the foreseeable future — probably in the same way that flu is,” he predcted.

“I can’t tell you how long the vaccine protection is going to last for. We are very hopeful it is going to be in the region of a very high number of months, possibly a small number of years. But we can’t say yet… If the virus is going to continue to change there will come a point where we will have to reformulate the vaccines.”

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