The government’s mishandling of the pandemic: will charges ever be brought?

Back in July 2020, we ran a story (which you can read by clicking on the image above) in which, Mike Temple explained how Dr Cathy Gardner, from East Devon, a microbiologist with a doctorate in virology, had recently challenged the government in the High Court for not protecting elderly people in care homes, with the help of a crowd justice campaign.

Her father was one of the thousands who died in a care home during this pandemic. The Health Secretary’s initial response claimed that the government had taken extensive measures to protect care homes and contended that Dr Gardner’s case had no legal foundation and that it was not in the public interest for it to be heard.

Dr Gardner was undeterred. She is in the process of taking legal action against the disastrous policy to discharge sick patients from hospitals into homes without testing them first and her case has reached the High Court.

Enter the Good Law Project who have obtained exclusive access to the devastating evidence that shows :

Despite knowing elderly people were more likely to die from Covid, Government prioritised the rapid discharge of patients from hospitals into care homes, without testing. Incredibly, there is no mention of testing at all in the Government’s plan: ‘How can we free up hospital bed capacity by rapidly discharging people into social care? 17 – 18 March 2020’. 

Government ignored the pleas of care home staff, who were forced to take in patients discharged from hospital who had not been tested, knowing it would put their residents at risk.

We published an article on the damning report by the House of Commons and Science and Technology Committee and Health and Social Care Committee: Coronavirus: lessons learned to date, examining the initial UK response to the Covid pandemic.

In Brazil, there are calls for Bolsonaro to face charges, following a report (resonant of our own) which came out of a six month congressional investigation into the handling of the pandemic. I quote The Guardian article here:

The draft report accuses Brazil’s far-right leader of a total of 11 crimes, including crimes against humanity, incitement to crime, and charlatanism, for his “obstinate” promotion of ineffective remedies such as the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine.

But perhaps the most serious allegation is that Bolsonaro’s shunning of offers from vaccine manufacturers during the first year of Brazil’s epidemic amounted to murder.

In France, the former health minister Agnès Buzyn has been charged with “endangering the lives of others”, according to the prosecutor in a special court that deals with ministerial accountability. In Japan, the prime minster resigned over 17,000 deaths.

Meanwhile, here in the UK, evidence builds of a catastrophic policy of herd immunity and an ugly picture of the horrifyingly corrupt exploitation of a national tragedy, here summarised by a video produced by the Good Law Project and the campaign group Led By Donkeys:

The UK now has the highest number of Covid-19 cases in the world as the government seeks to make us believe that the pandemic is over and that our (waning) vaccination programme has left us in a better position than our peers. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is unthinkable that this government should escape the full force of the law for its actions… and inactions.

You may wish to support the work of the Good Law Project in holding them to account. You can also contact them with information that will help in their efforts.