Sunday, 12 April 2020

Boris Johnson thanks NHS staff for saving his life

Dear Boris Johnson

Well done on surviving coronavirus. I genuinely wish you a speedy recovery.

It’s good to know you had such excellent treatment at the NHS’s St Thomas’s hospital, just across the Westminster Bridge, overlooking Parliament.

Your video address to the nation showed heartfelt thanks to the NHS staff who saved your life. You and your family must feel very relieved, along with members of your government, and of course the nation at large.

No one with any humanity, or empathy, or compassion, wants anyone to suffer, let alone to die, from this horrible pandemic virus.

Now that you have experienced first-hand how Covid-19 can be devastating for some people – no matter their age or station – I am hoping we’ll see a sea-change in the government’s policies in tackling this pandemic.

No, I am not looking to make political capital out of your suffering and recovery. I sincerely want something positive to come from it, and I have a feeling you do too.

NHS staff saved your life last week. You remembered their names and I am sure you’ll remember them forever.

But too many NHS staff are losing their lives trying to save the lives of others. That cannot be right. Something much more needs to be done.

It’s not enough to thank our NHS staff with words, as earnest and as profound as I am sure those words are.

Nor is it enough for us to stand on our doorsteps every Thursday evening, clapping and cheering our deep thanks for the wonderful doctors, nurses and ancillary staff who are, literally, battling to save lives, even at the risk of their own.

The lack of protective equipment needs to be corrected much more quickly and urgently – not just for NHS workers, but for workers in care homes too, in charities, and those providing care to those at home, who seem to have been forgotten.

Testing for NHS staff, and all those suffering from the symptoms of Covid-19, needs to be rolled out with much more fervour and compulsion.

I am sure you know this already.

When all this is over, when the Covid-19 virus has been decisively defeated and we can resume normality, I expect big questions will need to be asked.

But right now, we need some big answers.

Doctors will be advising you to rest and convalesce, at least for the next few weeks, and I’m sure that’s right.

But you’re still Prime Minister. You’re still the Commander in Chief.

I am calling on you to command your team of ministers to make things happen now for the common good.

- We need better outcomes for all those unfortunate enough to come down with Covid-19.

- And we need better protection for the brave and noble people who are caring for us in hospitals and care homes and at people’s homes up and down the country.

This surely is your Churchillian moment.

Or as the great man once said:

“It is no use saying ‘we are doing our best.’  You have got to succeed in doing what is necessary.” 

Yours most sincerely

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