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UK Covid Response Impaired by

UK Covid Response Impaired by "Macho" Culture

by Starling Insights

Starling Insights Editorial Board

Nov 14, 2023


At a recent hearing for the UK Government's inquiry into its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, Helen MacNamara, who served as Deputy Cabinet Secretary between 2020 and 2021, criticized the government's response to the crisis, citing a "macho" culture "contaminated by ego."

MacNamara claimed that senior officials had a misplaced confidence that the UK would easily handle the pandemic, even laughing at Italy's early lockdown measures in 2020. MacNamara noted an "absence of humanity" in the government's approach and then Prime Minister Boris Johnson's belief that the country would "sail through" the crisis.

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