Blown off course

The COVID Diaries – 60 27th May

The government’s attempts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic continue to be blown off course by the ongoing row about the conduct of the Prime Minister’s top adviser Dominic Cummings and his lockdown trip to County Durham.  Boris Johnson has been grilled again about this, but speaking to senior Members of Parliament he ruled out an inquiry and insisted it was time to “move on” from the row.

The Prime Minister also announced a major test and trace system which aims to find people who come into close contact with those infected with the coronavirus. It remains to be seen if the row about Cummings will undermine the new system.

Meanwhile in the United States, the coronavirus pandemic has wreaked havoc on Donald Trump’s re-election plans. His promise to maintain record-breaking economic expansion and “keep America great” has been swept away by record unemployment and the financial toll that the nationwide business-closure and shelter-in-place orders have taken.

Having relied on his favourite method of communication, Twitter, to bypass mainstream media he has now attacked it after a “fact check” label was added to his tweets. Just a few hours after Twitter’s move, the president began threatening “big action” against the company (although it is unclear what power the president has to do anything).

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