British Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi said on Thursday that some 32 million people — including healthy individuals between 50 and 65 years old — may have to be vaccinated before the all COVID-19 lockdown restrictions are lifted.
British Chancellor Rishi Sunak has reportedly sided with scores of Tory backbench COVID rebels after the government and its advisors were accused of “moving the goalposts” on ending the lockdown.
Sources close to Sunak told Thursday’s Daily Telegraph he wanted the current third national lockdown to be the “fat lady sings moment” — the final bout of coronavirus restrictions.
Sunak was said to be concerned that the government’s senior scientific and medical advisors were shifting the focus from protecting the National Health Service (NHS) from being overwhelmed to the far more ambitious goal of reducing cases to near-zero. At Wednesday’s weekly Downing Street press conference, chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty said that while infections had fallen sharply from their peak, hospital admissions remained high and the lockdown must continue.
The chancellor came under renewed pressure from both business and trade union leaders this week to extend the furlough payment scheme for laid-off workers until the summer — or even the end of the year.
Moving the Goalposts
Just hours after the Telegraph report Vaccines Minister Nadhim Zahawi appeared to shift the goalposts again, suggesting the draconian restrictions…