Coronavirus will brutally expose the effect of a decade of public service cuts | Polly Toynbee

If there’s an epidemic on the scale Public Health England warns of, the government may not be able to keep its citizens safe

Blame Boris Johnson for almost everything, but not for the arrival of the coronavirus. He puts on his serious face, slightly unrumples his hair and tells people to wash their hands. As no one voted for him for public health advice he would do well to let untrusted politicians opine as little as possible, leaving public announcements to the respected chief scientific officer and chief medical officer.

But there is no way of keeping politics out of this. If this epidemic is only half as bad as the official worst-case scenario, the pressure on every aspect of public services will be tested to breaking point. The full effect of a decade of austerity is about to be brutally exposed.

Continue reading...