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Boris Johnson Recovers His Country Doesn’t_Ada Nkong

When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from hospital on Sunday, the country breathed a collective sigh of relief. And with good reason — despite officials’ daily insistence that Johnson was in “good spirits,” Johnson himself has since admitted that his life was in the balance.Questions over whether Downing Street was fully transparent about the Prime Minister’s health will doubtless dominate the British media in the days to come. But while important, they risk overshadowing the true picture of the UK’s struggle against coronavirus.Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), put it starkly when he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr program on Sunday that the UK is “likely to be one of the worst, if not the worst, affected countries in Europe”.

Only a few weeks ago, Britons looked on at the unfolding horror in Italy and Spain. Now, as those two countries appear to be over the worst, the UK is on a similar, grim trajectory. The British government — led by Johnson’s designated deputy, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab — is facing serious questions about why.

Some health experts are increasingly scathing about the government’s response to the crisis — driven largely by the advice of leading scientists from SAGE.Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, believes this has led to an abstract response — one based on numbers and scientific models — rather than traditional principles of public health.”There has been this kind of scientism — an approach of academics gathering data and analyzing it then producing theories to be tested — at the heart of the government’s response,” he says. “In fact, what we needed was to follow good public health practice and listen to the advice from the World Health Organization.”

Boris Johnson is getting better, but the nation he leads is not

Analysis by Luke McGee, CNN

Updated 1634 GMT (0034 HKT) April 13, 2020

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQ's on March 25, 2020 in London, England. British parliament will be suspended tonight due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. It had previously been scheduled to break for Easter on March 31; it will tentatively sit again on April 21. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 18,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

italy counting death toll coronavirus wedeman pkg nr vpx_00015927

Italian newspaper’s obituaries filled 1 page. Now it’s 13.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: A general view of Bondi Beach is seen on March 20, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. The Australian government has banned non-essential gatherings of 100 or more people indoors, along with outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced Australia would be closing its borders to all visitors for six months. The travel ban will be placed on all people who are not Australian residents or their direct relations coming to the country from 9pm on Friday night.  There are now 756 confirmed cases of COVID-19 In Australia while the death toll now stands at seven. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

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People shop near empty food shelves at a supermarket in Tokyo in April 6, 2020. - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on April 6 the government plans to declare a state of emergency and proposed a stimulus package worth 1 trillion USD as new coronavirus infections spike in Tokyo and elsewhere. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

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LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQ's on March 25, 2020 in London, England. British parliament will be suspended tonight due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. It had previously been scheduled to break for Easter on March 31; it will tentatively sit again on April 21. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 18,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson grateful after release from hospital

greece coronavirus covid 19 lockdown restrictions lessons kinkade pkg intl ldn vpx_00005018.jpg

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Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media after his meeting with experts of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, at his official residence in Tokyo on April 6, 2020. - Abe said on April 6 the government plans to declare a state of emergency and proposed a stimulus package worth 1 trillion USD as new coronavirus infections spike in Tokyo and elsewhere. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)

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BRASILIA, BRAZIL - MARCH 20: Jair Bolsonaro President of Brazil takes off his protective mask to speak to journalists during a press conference about outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID - 19) at the Planalto Palace on March 20, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

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WUHAN, CHINA - April 09: (CHINA OUT)The migrant workers waiting for work in the street on April 9,2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.The government started lifting outbound travel restrictions on April 8 from Wednesday after almost 11 weeks of lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Getty Images)

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italy counting death toll coronavirus wedeman pkg nr vpx_00015927

Italian newspaper’s obituaries filled 1 page. Now it’s 13.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 20: A general view of Bondi Beach is seen on March 20, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. The Australian government has banned non-essential gatherings of 100 or more people indoors, along with outdoor gatherings of more than 500 people in a bid to contain the spread of COVID-19. Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Thursday announced Australia would be closing its borders to all visitors for six months. The travel ban will be placed on all people who are not Australian residents or their direct relations coming to the country from 9pm on Friday night.  There are now 756 confirmed cases of COVID-19 In Australia while the death toll now stands at seven. (Photo by Jenny Evans/Getty Images)

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‘Yikes!’ Amanpour reacts to Fox News montage about virus

wuhan china coronavirus covid 19 pandemic epicenter lockdown lifted culver pkg intl ldn vpx_00004304.jpg

China lifts 76-day lockdown in city where Covid-19 began

People shop near empty food shelves at a supermarket in Tokyo in April 6, 2020. - Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said on April 6 the government plans to declare a state of emergency and proposed a stimulus package worth 1 trillion USD as new coronavirus infections spike in Tokyo and elsewhere. (Photo by Philip FONG / AFP) (Photo by PHILIP FONG/AFP via Getty Images)

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Ecuador coronavirus Covid-19 cardboard coffins Rivers lkl intl hnk vpx_00003130.jpg

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Boris Johnson in ICU, Raab deputized to step in as needed

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 25: Prime Minister Boris Johnson leaves 10 Downing Street for PMQ's on March 25, 2020 in London, England. British parliament will be suspended tonight due to concerns about the spread of COVID-19. It had previously been scheduled to break for Easter on March 31; it will tentatively sit again on April 21. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has spread to at least 182 countries, claiming over 18,000 lives and infecting hundreds of thousands more. (Photo by Peter Summers/Getty Images)

Boris Johnson grateful after release from hospital

greece coronavirus covid 19 lockdown restrictions lessons kinkade pkg intl ldn vpx_00005018.jpg

Why Greece is coping with Covid-19 better than Italy

China adds restrictions to Covid-19 research and publication

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe speaks to the media after his meeting with experts of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, at his official residence in Tokyo on April 6, 2020. - Abe said on April 6 the government plans to declare a state of emergency and proposed a stimulus package worth 1 trillion USD as new coronavirus infections spike in Tokyo and elsewhere. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT (Photo by STR/JIJI PRESS/AFP via Getty Images)

Japan’s Shinzo Abe promotes anti-flu drug to treat virus

BRASILIA, BRAZIL - MARCH 20: Jair Bolsonaro President of Brazil takes off his protective mask to speak to journalists during a press conference about outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID - 19) at the Planalto Palace on March 20, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)

Some world leaders ignore officials’ warnings about Covid-19

WUHAN, CHINA - April 09: (CHINA OUT)The migrant workers waiting for work in the street on April 9,2020 in Wuhan, Hubei Province, China.The government started lifting outbound travel restrictions on April 8 from Wednesday after almost 11 weeks of lockdown to stem the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Getty Images)

Hear from residents in Wuhan about life after lockdown

Life in lockdown: tips from around the world

italy counting death toll coronavirus wedeman pkg nr vpx_00015927

Italian newspaper’s obituaries filled 1 page. Now it’s 13.

London (CNN)When British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was released from hospital on Sunday, the country breathed a collective sigh of relief. And with good reason — despite officials’ daily insistence that Johnson was in “good spirits,” Johnson himself has since admitted that his life was in the balance.Questions over whether Downing Street was fully transparent about the Prime Minister’s health will doubtless dominate the British media in the days to come. But while important, they risk overshadowing the true picture of the UK’s struggle against coronavirus.Jeremy Farrar, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), put it starkly when he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr program on Sunday that the UK is “likely to be one of the worst, if not the worst, affected countries in Europe”.

'She is blown away': World leaders and families praise two nurses who cared for Boris Johnson in ICU

Only a few weeks ago, Britons looked on at the unfolding horror in Italy and Spain. Now, as those two countries appear to be over the worst, the UK is on a similar, grim trajectory. The British government — led by Johnson’s designated deputy, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab — is facing serious questions about why.Some health experts are increasingly scathing about the government’s response to the crisis — driven largely by the advice of leading scientists from SAGE.Gabriel Scally, president of epidemiology and public health at the Royal Society of Medicine, believes this has led to an abstract response — one based on numbers and scientific models — rather than traditional principles of public health.”There has been this kind of scientism — an approach of academics gathering data and analyzing it then producing theories to be tested — at the heart of the government’s response,” he says. “In fact, what we needed was to follow good public health practice and listen to the advice from the World Health Organization.”In the early stages of the pandemic, the UK was something of an outlier compared to its European counterparts, especially in the areas of testing and social distancing measures. Unlike some other states, the UK appeared slow to increase its testing capacity, and reluctant to impose the kind of social distancing measures that were swiftly put in place elsewhere. “I find it amazing that testing, contact tracing and isolation was not part of any of the scenarios that any of the expert advisers on this group discussed,” Scally says.It has been barely a week since the UK announced plans to increase its testing capacity to 100,000 by the end of April, after even Johnson loyalists criticized the UK’s approach to testing compared to countries like Germany. As of Monday morning, the most recent number was 18,000 tests in a 24-hour period, according to the government.

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