Matt Hancock, UK Health Secretary, is proud to announce on Friday that the country has reached the ambitious corona virus testing target set earlier this month.
On April 2, after weeks of criticism that Britain was lagging behind European peers like Germany on testing, Hancock said he “set a goal of 100,000 tests per day, at the end of this month. That was the goal and I was determined that we would get there. . “
On Friday, Hancock said from the same podium that Britain had defeated more than 22,000 goals.
Attacking an optimistic tone, Hancock said: “I know that is a brave goal, but we need a brave goal.”
Double digits: Critics might point out that his aim is not the only thing that comes out of Hancock’s mouth that can be called brave. In the calculated number, thousands of tests have been sent to the public, but not necessarily returned.
Jonathon Ashworth, the shadow secretary of the opposition party’s health party, has issued a statement, accusing the government of fiddling with numbers. “Increasing testing is an important milestone. But many hope 100,000 promises have been fulfilled by actually doing the test, not only because 39,000 kits have been delivered,” he said.
The testing problem doesn’t need to be so political.
When Britain succumbed to pressure to reverse the March 12 decision to abandon mass community testing on April 2, Britain did not need to set specific targets or deadlines. Indeed, it seems highly unlikely that scientific or medical advice will produce round numbers like 100,000 or neat dates like the end of the month. These promises are based on political choices made by the government and it is entirely reasonable that critics expect targets to be met.
However, it also makes sense for critics to point out that the date and number of tests carried out are completely arbitrary and that what really matters is a coherent goal for the testing being carried out – such as launching a contact tracing program.
So while the British government can be proud of the extraordinary expansion of testing in a short period of time – and no one can deny that more testing is a positive thing – it makes sense that critics will find backslap errors just to fulfill their promises. rather not justify.