UK NEWS: Coronavirus Boris Johnson’s sensitivity of responsibility over ‘COVID-19’

The prime minister, meanwhile, says a few of his colleagues, who do not know him well, are drawn between his science and economics.

It was three weeks ago when Boris Johnson gathered his Cabinet together to set up a government plan for the fall after the summer recess.

He was raising the issue.

Although there would be “imminent chaos” and the coming of the “bad COVID”, the nation was “back on its feet” and the prime minister was “fully confident that we would be able to cope with the outbreak of disease”.

September is not over, and this week the prime minister has a very different message to convey to the public.

The second “inevitable” wave of coronavirus is on its way and you find yourself in the face of a storm, with very difficult decisions to deal with as it measures public health concerns not only economic destruction, but social and political shocks from a tired country and returning MPs.

On Monday, his science advisors Professor Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance will give a televised forum on the latest details of the coronavirus, and on Tuesday the prime minister is expected to speak to us personally.

Getting his scientific advisers out to speak to the public is designed to be a wake-up call, to remind us that the threat is too much for us.

Cases are growing rapidly and should – we quote Professor Whitty – “at a critical juncture in this epidemic”.

Infection was high for four months this weekend, with 4,422 cases recorded on Saturday, and doubled in seven to ten days, according to the Premier’s scientific advisers.

The UK’s follow-up is now six weeks behind France and Spain and is being considered in most cases by mid-October if left unchecked.

“In the summer, people were free and the cases were low. People forgot how dangerous this was,” someone in the government said.

“Chris and Patrick will speak directly to the public about where we are in the wake of lawsuits in other countries. It’s not over and it’s coming back soon.”

Tough facts have been brought in by experts to help set the stage for the other side of the border which is expected to be announced by the prime minister this week.

The question is, how far do you go?

Whether you are a hawk or a dove, ministers agree that a complete national ban should be avoided by all means, so it is now a question of how much the government decides to fail to completely shut down the country.

“They look at all the shades of gray and that’s a data usage,” the government figures continued.

Mr Johnson’s scientific advisers have suggested that there should be a short “regional break” of national borders for a short period of time to try to eradicate the disease, but this has not yet been signed, according to the No. 10 insiders.

Some options may provide information on deadlines, or new rules to try to reduce contact between people and prevent family reunions.

“It’s all together,” said one senior government official.

“We can make the time to return home, we can go on regional vacation.”

Ministers and advisers are scrutinizing the details to see if the latest six-person law reform, introduced last Monday, and strict law enforcement laws could change behavior and reduce communication.

But that includes waiting to see if the initial data indicates a change or improvement, and the Premier may decide that he wants to get out of the disease before it is too early.

He is, says a few colleagues who know him well, feeling the weight of responsibility as he is drawn between his scientific and economic team.

On the other hand are Chris Whitty, medical officer Patrick Vallace, senior science adviser, and Health Secretary Matt Hancock – all looking for a “safety first” approach, the end of the March period is probably still fresh in their minds.

On the other hand are his Chancellor Rishi Sunak, his Business Secretary Alok Sharma and many other top rivals who warn of economic – and long-term health – the destruction of drastic measures.

“The prime minister is in a very difficult situation because everything is up to him,” said one of his prime ministers last week.

“The Prime Minister’s feeling is that he should control the virus, because if there is a spike, it falls on his shoulders, I feel sorry for him.”

There is also the question of social and political upheaval.

The government’s Scientific and Advisory Group for Emergency (SAGE) reported last week that one in five people reporting symptoms in England had completely separated themselves from home for the required two weeks by the end of August.

In tandem with the decline, the government is experimenting with the use of the cane, announcing over the weekend a fine of up to £ 10,000 in England for those who refuse to isolate themselves if they are found to be infected or are contacted by the testing and tracking system to contact an infected person.

Ministers hope it will help reduce the number of new cases. The danger is that it discourages people with symptoms from early testing and the spread of the virus remains undetected.

Not only is the community impatient, the prime minister is also under pressure from some of his back supporters, who do not like drastic measures without consulting and who want more oversight in Parliament.

To that end, some members of Parliament, led by the chairman of the 1922 strong backbench Committee Sir Graham Brady, intend to try to amend the COVID-19 emergency laws – which need to be renewed by the end of this month – to allow Parliament to always use new emergency powers or impose restrictions.

Disagreements escalate with one minister telling me that the parliamentary party is outraged by what they see as Mr Hancock’s “overreacting to what the original law intended”.

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