Blinded by Corona
Professor Ashton has lifelong hands-on experience and a deep scholarly understanding of the science of public health, a discipline invented in Britain. In this scathing critique he notes that nothing that the UK government has done to deal with COVID-19 is recognisable against two centuries of knowledge. Instead, it is designing untested methods at exceptional expense that have created a public-health and economic crisis never seen before. The government should urgently return to the science as set out in Blinded by Corona. From February, Professor Ashton has applied its precepts to Bahrain, where he was appointed special COVID-19 adviser, and the country topped the WHO league in August. It also suffered the least disruption of the economy and social life and did not have a general lockdown.
'Everyone should read this book. Its powerful and penetrating insight holds our leaders to account - and finds them wanting.' PROFESSOR ROGER KIRBY, PRESIDENT, ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE;;'Professor Ashton's counsel and knowledge has proven him to be an authoritative figure on how the threat of COVID-19 should be responded to. His early calls for mass testing were quickly heeded to in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and established him as one of the world's leading public health experts on countering COVID-19.' SALMAN BIN KHALIFA, FINANCE MINISTER BAHRAIN;;'Once you start reading this book, it is hard to put down. It puts COVID-19 into the wider trajectory of public health within Britain, and is absolutely devastating on the response of the UK government to the COVID-19 crisis. A must-read for all those interested in understanding what went wrong and why.' DEVI SRIDHAR, PROFESSOR OF PUBLIC HEALTH UNIVERSITY OF EDINBURGH;;'As with the Hillsborough disaster, the fuel crisis, needle exchange and other crises John Ashton is calling this one correctly here. He was speaking out on COVID-19 before any politician was awake.' GABRIEL SCALLY, MEMBER OF INDEPENDENT SAGE, PRESIDENT OF EPIDEMIOLOGY & PUBLIC HEALTH ROYAL SOCIETY OF MEDICINE;;'John Ashton has public health in his bones. His views are erudite, uncompromising, and humane. He has judged how this pandemic would unfold better than computer simulations and politicians. The answers are in these pages and governments should listen.' PROFESSOR KAMRAN ABBASI, EXECUTIVE EDITOR BRITISH MEDICAL JOURNAL;;'This is an important book. John Ashton shows how and why the catastrophic actions of Boris Johnson's government failed its people and led to many thousands of unnecessary deaths. If we are to avoid similar disasters, read this scorching indictment of those in power.' KEN LOACH;;'In 1847 the much celebrated and revered Doctor William Henry Duncan was appointed as Liverpool's first Medical Officer of Health. Like Dr Duncan, and motivated by a passion for the common good, John Ashton sees the world through the lens of public health. From the outset of the Coronavirus pandemic he has offered trenchant and coherent arguments about how the Government and public-health authorities needed to respond. His insightful book provides a valuable compass and road map as we continue to navigate our way through this pandemic. He also offers sound advice on how to be better prepared for fresh waves of Covid and other potential threats to public health. As Dr Duncan might have said-just what the doctor ordered.' LORD ALTON;;'John Ashton has been the voice of Cassandra throughout the pandemic. He has earned the right to be the first to tell the whole story, showing that we had both experience and knowledge, but failed to use it. But in the face of the arrogance of centralisation, Ashton gives us hope that local communities and expertise are equipped to bring the 2020 pandemic to its conclusion.' CRISPIN PAILING
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