What have we learned so far from the UK government’s COVID-19 policy?

Paul Cairney: Politics & Public Policy

This post first appeared on LSE British Politics and Policy (27.11.20) and is based on this article in British Politics.

Paul Cairney assesses government policy in the first half of 2020. He identifies the intense criticism of its response so far, encouraging more systematic assessments grounded in policy research.

In March 2020, COVID-19 prompted policy change in the UK at a speed and scale only seen during wartime. According to the UK government, policy was informed heavily by science advice. Prime Minister Boris Johnsonargued that, ‘At all stages, we have been guided by the science, and we will do the right thing at the right time’. Further, key scientific advisers such as Sir Patrick Vallanceemphasisedthe need to gather evidence continuously to model the epidemic and identify key points at which to intervene, to reduce the size of the peak of population illness initially, then manage…

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