We need to learn lessons from the Government’s response to COVID-19

Back in July, Boris Johnson finally agreed to our demands to hold an independent inquiry into the Government’s response to coronavirus.

The Prime Minister accepted his Government will “learn the lessons of this pandemic” and confirmed there will be in independent inquiry.

BREAKING: Boris Johnson agrees to the Liberal Democrats’ calls for an independent inquiry into government handling of COVID-19.

Watch @EdwardJDavey‘s question here 👇 #PMQspic.twitter.com/TS52ea1WAi

— Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) July 15, 2020

Almost a month later we have heard nothing from the Prime Minister about when this might take place.

Teachers and pupils are preparing to return to schools across Britain. People are trying to resume some semblance of normality, returning to shops and restaurants. NHS and care staff continue to fight the virus wherever it returns.

The Government clearly made mistakes

Meanwhile COVID-19 cases are rising in parts of Europe, the disease is tearing across Latin America, and the Government is enacting local lockdowns in parts of Britain.

With a potential vaccine months away from being verified and ready to distribute, the threat of a second wave of coronavirus hitting our country must be taken seriously.

It is the Government’s duty to prepare for a potential second wave. To do that, they must learn the lessons of their initial response to the outbreak through an independent inquiry.

Back on 24 July, Boris Johnson admitted “there are things that we need to learn about how we handled it in the early stages.”

That is certainly true; the Government clearly made mistakes.

From the slowness of the initial reaction, to the tragedy that has struck our care homes, to the shortages of Personal Protective Equipment and testing, the Government must be honest and open about its failures if it is to retain public trust.

Families and communities across the country are hoping for the best this autumn and winter, but the Government must demonstrate that it is prepared for another wave of coronavirus should it happen.

We cannot wait any longer – we must learn these lessons now and protect lives during a potential second wave.