Crippen looks back at government cover-up regarding emergency preparedness

I’ve been corresponding with a young disabled student about some of my cartoons relating to government cover-ups, especially those affecting disabled people. One in particular got his attention, which was the one regarding Exercise Cygnus which I blogged about back in April 2020.

You’ll remember that Exercise Cygnus, which took place in October 2016, involved all major government departments, including the NHS and local authorities across Britain looking at their preparedness should we ever be hit with something like the Coronavirus pandemic.

The finished report showed gaping holes in Britain’s Emergency Preparedness, Resilience and Response (EPRR) plan. They found that there was not enough personal protective equipment (PPE) for the nation’s doctors and nurses. The NHS was about to “fall over” due to a shortage of vital equipment and critical care beds and morgues were set to overflow. The report also raised awareness that they would need to build in additional support for disabled people, older people, and those with underlying health issues.

Well, we know that no action was taken following this report, and that when the pandemic arrived on our shores four years later the powers that be just ran around like headless chickens claiming that they hadn’t seen it coming. 

Tell that to the thousands of disabled people who died of Covid related illness over the past 12 months. I’m not sure that they’d appreciate the irony!

Description of cartoon for those using screen reading software

Boris Johnson and Theresa May are standing together in front of a hill of earth covered by white crosses. A sign in front says, ‘6 out of 10 Covid deaths are disabled people’. May is carrying a piece of paper that has ‘Cygnus report’ written on it. Johnson is saying: “I keep telling them – we had no idea that this could happen!”

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