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Britain Drops Its Go-It-Alone Approach to Coronavirus | FP |

On Monday night, that theory collided with the facts. A new analysis by immunologists at Imperial College London and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine of the impact of the coronavirus in Italy suggested that up to 30 percent of patients hospitalized with the virus would require intensive care treatment. Those numbers, if repeated in the U.K., would quickly overwhelm Britain's state-run National Health Service.

Within hours of the report, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson appeared at a daily briefing at No. 10 Downing St. to reverse the herd immunity policy. Acknowledging that "drastic action" was required, Johnson announced that from now on Britons should try to work from home and voluntarily refrain from unnecessary travel and social contact.

But Johnson's tone, Britain's policy, and indeed the reaction of many Britons remained in strong contrast to the rest of Europe--a striking echo of the prime minister's go-it-alone approach to Brexit earlier in the year. Johnson is now taking an approach closer to that of U.S. President Donald Trump--appealing to the public for voluntary cooperation rather than ordering it--than to that of the European Union.

The 'herd immunity' route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Mar 17th, 2020 at 11:42:51 PM EST
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