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US News How Matt Hancock Got The Government Back On Front Foot On Coronavirus

05:10  03 april  2020
05:10  03 april  2020 Source:   huffingtonpost.co.uk

How the pandemic will end

  How the pandemic will end How the pandemic will end

Matt Hancock answers questions from senior MPs lead by Jeremy Hunt on the handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in the UK. Coronavirus testing numbers will be

Health Secretary Matt Hancock and government officials deliver the daily government briefing for UK developments during the coronavirus crisis. The first

Matthew Hancock wearing a suit and tie © ASSOCIATED PRESS

Levelling. Up.

What a difference a day makes. Or rather, what a difference an electric jolt of criticism makes. After the incoherent and evasive Downing Street press conference 24 hours earlier, Matt Hancock had a back-to-work vigour about him as he led the government’s message on coronavirus on Thursday.

But most of all it was Hancock’s rigour that was most striking, someone who finally felt totally across the detail of this huge and fast-moving national fight against the invisible enemy. It was the first time any minister, including the PM, had stepped up to set out a clear and precise strategy for the weeks ahead.

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Government officials hold a daily briefing to update on the coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom. From Brexit breaking news to HD movie trailers, The

Health secretary Matt Hancock conducts a daily government briefing to update on the coronavirus outbreak in the United Kingdom.

Video: Matt Hancock coronavirus briefing highlights (Press Association)

His two big announcements - a £13bn write-off of NHS trust debt and a new pledge to increase virus testing to 100,000 a day for England - were solid and practical moves. Just as important though was the fact that he had a routemap for the path ahead, his ‘five pillars’ designed to mobilise the private and public sectors in accelerating the tests needed.‌

The honesty was welcome. “I am going to level with you about the challenges we face,” he said, and for once, this didn’t seem like an empty Americanism. When he added that “there will be bumps in the road and criticisms made, some of them justified” it was a much needed recognition that governments are fallible and all the better when they admit it.

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In January, Matt Hancock had said in the House of Commons that the UK was "well-prepared and well-equipped to tackle any contagion" and that we "had But yesterday, he admitted the government had had difficulties getting enough tests for coronavirus . Nick asked him: "Had you been misled, or were

Health Secretary Matt Hancock returned to Westminster today after a week in self-isolation and unveiled a new five-point plan he hopes will ramp up coronavirus testing across Britain. Mr Hancock is back at his desk at the department of health this morning having recovered from a mild case of

As the lockdown has begun to bite, the bitter politicking has increased, with both the government’s defenders and its critics guilty of accusing each other of bad faith. Yet in contrast to Tory cheerleaders, whose attitude to criticism is to yell ‘don’t you know there’s a bloody war on?!’, Hancock was smart enough to see it as an asset not a threat.

Ambulances are parked near tents outside the Excel London centre, that is being prepared to become a temporary National Health Service (NHS) hospital to be called the Nightingale Hospital, in London, Saturday March 28, 2020. The Nightingale Hospital will have two wards, each capable of holding up to 2,000 COVID-19 coronavirus patients when it opens early next week.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Ambulances are parked near tents outside the Excel London centre, that is being prepared to become a temporary National Health Service (NHS) hospital to be called the Nightingale Hospital, in London, Saturday March 28, 2020. The Nightingale Hospital will have two wards, each capable of holding up to 2,000 COVID-19 coronavirus patients when it opens early next week.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) “My approach to tackling this is to listen to all complaints and work out what we can do better and whether people have got a point,” he said, praising Labour for pushing ministers harder on economic protections for workers. A keen observer will note however that Hancock didn’t also directly admit to any errors on his part, he simply alluded to the need to change tactics by saying the original plan was more detailed now “and we need new partners”.

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock is giving the latest government update after Boris Johnson placed the UK on a police-enforced lockdown with drastic new measures in the fight against the coronavirus outbreak. The Prime Minister ordered people only to leave their homes under a list of "very limited

Health secretary Matt Hancock leads the coronavirus press briefing with questions surrounding his target to reach 100,000 tests per day . Read the latest

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There’s an old saying in politics that ‘if you’re explaining, you’re losing’, but in fact it was refreshing to hear someone go through methodically each issue in turn: why the UK was not like Germany in diagnostic testing, why some antibody tests were mistaken (a three out of four failure rate for one) and why he had prioritised patient testing before NHS staff (itself an admission that rationing had been needed).

Hancock’s tribute to the first generation immigrant health professionals who had “paid the ultimate price for their service” was accompanied by a heartfelt crack in his voice. And the praise for “this diverse and caring” institution was long overdue, especially after bogus claims that migrants freeload off the NHS.

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Workmen construct spaces for hundreds of beds in the indoor training centre at parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, south Wales on March 30, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. - Welsh Pro14 rugby side Scarlets say they will provide space for 500 beds for the UK's National Health Service at their stadium as authorities grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images) © Getty Workmen construct spaces for hundreds of beds in the indoor training centre at parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, south Wales on March 30, 2020, as life in Britain continues during the nationwide lockdown to combat the novel coronavirus pandemic. - Welsh Pro14 rugby side Scarlets say they will provide space for 500 beds for the UK's National Health Service at their stadium as authorities grapple with the coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK / AFP) (Photo by GEOFF CADDICK/AFP via Getty Images) Even the format of the press conference was a welcome change, with follow-up questions not just allowed but actively invited (I understand Hancock had insisted on that in the run-through beforehand). Far from waging a war with the media, he praised newspapers for praising NHS staff and even gave the tabloids the footballer-bashing headline. Compared to an inexperienced No.10 team (something many forget), it was a reminder that Hancock had actually served as a Downing Street aide.

Yes, there was quite a lot of ‘I’ and ‘my’ (“I’ve just been through it...i get that”, “I return from illness more determined than ever”, “my five pillar strategy”, “my plan to boost testing”). But many of the public who simply want someone, anyone, to look like they have a grip on this thing could be quite forgiving of that.

With Johnson under fire, blame game begins over virus crisis

  With Johnson under fire, blame game begins over virus crisis For the first time since becoming prime minister, Boris Johnson woke to universally negative newspaper headlines on Thursday morning — including from some titles usually supportive of his leadership. After the government disclosed that just 2,000 National Health Service staff in England had been tested for coronavirus, the Daily Mail declared it was the “Statistic that humbles ministers”. Even the Daily Telegraph, where the prime minister spent most of his journalism career, splashed on virus testing, with the blunt headline “Questions without answers”.

Of course, no minister should be hailed as a hero for simply doing their job. And it remains to be seen if these testing pledges can be delivered. There remain big problems with Universal Credit not being paid fast enough, the self-employed having to wait weeks for help, NHS and social care staff still lacking protective equipment. Yet when Hancock said he would rather not ‘over-promise’, it sounded a long way from Boris Johnson’s own 250,000 tests-a-day boast from just a fortnight ago.

Ambulances outside the Excel London centre, that is being prepared to become a temporary National Health Service (NHS) hospital to be called the Nightingale Hospital, in London, Saturday March 28, 2020. The Nightingale Hospital will have two wards, each capable of holding up to 2,000 COVID-19 coronavirus patients when it opens early next week.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) © ASSOCIATED PRESS Ambulances outside the Excel London centre, that is being prepared to become a temporary National Health Service (NHS) hospital to be called the Nightingale Hospital, in London, Saturday March 28, 2020. The Nightingale Hospital will have two wards, each capable of holding up to 2,000 COVID-19 coronavirus patients when it opens early next week.(AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali) The press conference was 75 minutes long, with 15 questions after a speech and presentation. It reminded me of those ‘take-all-comers’ monthly press briefings we used to have with Tony Blair, in the exact same wood-panelled room in Downing Street.

And maybe that’s not a coincidence. Rishi Sunak talked recently about his plan to ‘right this ship’ of state after the coming economic storm, and suddenly he was a potential future PM. But Hancock is proving he may well have what it takes, to one day become the ship’s captain himself.

Gallery: Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak (Photos)

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!