The claim that an earlier lockdown would have saved countless lives is demonstrably untrue.

The UK Covid inquiry is dragging on without addressing any of the mistakes that were made in our handling of the pandemic. The inquiry could have provided an opportunity for officials and advisers to finally admit that the government jumped the gun in sending the nation into lockdown as hard, as fast and as frequently as it did. Instead, the opposite has happened. The inquiry has become a pro-lockdown talking shop.

Last week, former chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, chief medical officer Chris Whitty and his deputy, Jonathan Van-Tam, told the inquiry that we should have locked down earlier than we did in March 2020. They and the inquiry’s lawyers then went on to insinuate that then chancellor Rishi Sunak’s ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ scheme in the summer of 2020 reignited the virus that autumn, leading to the second wave in late 2020.

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Iron Will

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