by Kevin Dowd and David Campbell
The American Institute for Economic Research
In the evidence he gave to the British parliament on 26 May, Boris Johnson’s former chief of staff Dominic Cummings added to the impression informed commentators had already reached that the UK policy-making process in early 2020 that resulted in the first Covid-19 lockdown at the end of March was conducted in an atmosphere of panic and chaos. It is true that it was in a matter of mere weeks, and in some aspects days, that that policy was changed from one of ‘mitigation’ of the outbreak of the SARS-CoV-2 virus to one of its ‘suppression’, even though suppression had to involve by far the most draconian government intervention in the life of the entire society in peacetime history. Cummings’ criticism is that, but for that panic and chaos, the UK would have been able to respond to the outbreak with more extensive and therefore effective lockdown measures than it did.