Even a BBC presenter is astounded by the government’s latest announcement on ventilators

BBC news presenter looking confused
Emily Apple

A government announcement on ventilators appeared to astound a BBC news presenter on 1 April. The government had said it needed a minimum of 30,000 new ventilators to cope with the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic. But Downing Street revealed that just 30 new ventilators will become available this weekend.

The news left one BBC presenter, Jane Hill, dumbfounded by what she was reading out.

“We have been double-checking this”

Upon reading the news that just 30 ventilators were ready, Hill looked confused and stated:

We have been double-checking this. But it does seem to say 30.

She continued:

But that initially for this weekend does seem to be a small number but it is the figure of 30 and we’re trying to get a little bit more detail on that.

Twitter users pointed out that the BBC reporter couldn’t “hide her disbelief” at the “appalling” failure of the ruling party:

Meanwhile, Daily Mirror online political editor Dan Bloom pointed to Michael Gove’s promises that the NHS would receive “the first of thousands of new ventilator devices”:

Writer David Schneider put the news in the context of other government lies and obfuscations about the NHS:

Making it up as they go

The news about the 30 new ventilators came on the same day that Conservative minister Robert Jenrick ‘lost’ 4,000 ventilators in “less than an hour”. Firstly, Jenrick told Sky News that “we have” more than 12,000 ventilators currently. He then told BBC Breakfast:

the number of ventilators, which is 8,000 in the NHS today, will increase very significantly.

Essentially, the Conservatives appear to be making things up as they go along, or getting things badly wrong, and hoping no-one will notice. But this crisis is too serious for it to be business as usual for the Conservative Party spin office.

Figures also released on 1 April show that the UK has just suffered its largest fatality rate since the pandemic broke in this country, with 563 deaths in a 24-hour period. In total, 2,352 have died from coronavirus, and this figure may just be the tip of the iceberg. Yet the government is feeding people lies, misdirection, and spin. This has to stop. We deserve and must demand so much more.

When even a BBC presenter is visibly shocked at a government’s announcement, it’s a telling sign of how low Johnson’s party has sunk.

Featured image via screengrab

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