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Views And Reviews Acute Perspective

David Oliver: Covid-19—recriminations and political point scoring must wait

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 25 March 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m1153

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  1. David Oliver, consultant in geriatrics and acute general medicine
  1. Berkshire
  1. davidoliver372{at}
    Follow David on Twitter: @mancunianmedic

Now is surely not the time for premature post mortems on our response to covid-19, for party political point scoring, or for reheating of historical resentments. Nor is it the time for attacks on officials and managers trying to solve problems as best they can.

In the war on the global covid-19 pandemic, responses in the NHS and wider public policy are changing at a pace more like time lapse photography than our usual peacetime decision and communications cycle.

The virus threatens our health and will hospitalise or kill many. The repurposing of health services to deal with it will marginalise many people with other important, life limiting needs. For months, it will transform the jobs of people in frontline healthcare and other key public services. It will leave millions of self-employed, contract, or salaried workers in a whole range of industries with serious financial problems and will devastate many sectors.

Beyond national boundaries, governments of every …

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