Public Health England has been an unmitigated disaster in our hour of need

Swab sob

WHAT an unmitigated disaster Public Health England has been in our country’s hour of need.

Even “test and trace” has now been holed below the waterline by the quango’s routine incompetence.

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The “world-beating” system cost taxpayers £12billion. Yet its effectiveness was scuppered by PHE knowingly using creaking old software unfit for purpose.

About 16,000 Covid cases failed to be counted. Their contacts were not traced for days, so they may have unwittingly infected tens of thousands more.

The Sun has warned for years about PHE’s failings. Its long, blinkered obsession with nannying the public blinded it to the threat of a pandemic, for which it falsely claimed to be wholly prepared even as it engulfed us.

It has lurched from complacency to alarmism, performed ineptly — even counting deaths inaccurately — and has now further harmed public confidence in the Government.

The only good news from the whole crisis is that PHE is being disbanded. We have scant idea now of the full extent of rising infections, on which the Government is basing its restrictions.

We do at least have concrete figures on hospital admissions and deaths.

Both are slowly increasing, but both remain a tiny fraction of April’s height. We can but hope they stay that way.

But let’s be frank. Given that no one has the vaguest clue how many now have the disease, it’s impossible to predict.

Sea sense

IF sense is belatedly beginning to prevail in Germany over Brexit we welcome it.

Brussels has long insisted we must pay a price for leaving. That was always just politics and wounded pride.

There are signs Berlin has grasped that logic and economics are far more important.

The French have no right to fish an independent nation’s waters beyond what we allow them. And a sovereign country cannot bow to a foreign court over the running of its economy.

Those demands are entirely reasonable. Any objective person can see that.

While the damage to both sides from a deal collapsing will be manageable, it will be substantial and needless. We all have enough troubles.

The EU should get over itself.

Quit’s over

YOU’D imagine that, after a weekend to reflect, even Margaret Ferrier would conclude her job as an MP was no longer viable.

She is Britain’s most infamous, least defensible Covidiot — a preachy hypocrite who chose her own convenience over public safety.

The party she has disgraced, the SNP, has thrown her under the bus. She is not fit for Parliament. She must know it. What is she waiting for?

Stand down, Margaret.

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