Boris Johnson seems to think it’s acceptable for 50,000 of us to die of coronavirus

Boris Johnson
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Two government advisors claim a government cost-benefit analysis carried out during the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic will have set acceptable deaths before a lockdown begins at 50,000. One says that amount to a ratio of 1,000 per week.

This is despite denials by No. 10. The threshold would mean that future lockdowns will only come into force if that level of deaths is met. As might be expected, the suggestion has angered people.

According to the i newspaper, an anonymous source close to the government’s coronavirus response said:

The Prime Minister is minded to implement another lockdown or new restrictions only if the figure of annual deaths looks like it’s going to go above 50,000. That means deaths from Covid of 137 a day, or just under 1,000 a week.

The source added:

However, it won’t be an immediate reaction. A sustained rate of death of around a 1,000 a week for two or three weeks will, though, lead to discussion on restrictions being reimposed. Unfortunately, prime ministers have to weigh up the cost of saving lives to the impact on the economy. No one wants to talk about that’s how it works.


Twitter users were outraged at the suggestion 50,000 people might be seen as an acceptable limit.

Read on...

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One said he could find the words, but he’d get banned:

Another said we’d look ridiculous to other countries:

And this person made their feelings clear:


The cost of living

But it might be even worse than suspected. The report suggests that a financial threshold has also been set. The i reported that:

The Government’s cost-benefit analysis on Covid measures is believed to set not only the acceptable level of cost to save the life of a Covid patient at up to £30,000, but also how much each life lost costs the UK economy.

Second advisor

And a second senior figure close to the government’s coronavirus response also weighed in. Professor Richard Medley is a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) and was involved in modelling coronavirus infections.

He told i:

Decisions about how much to intervene to improve public health are always difficult for governments. Measures such as vaccinating children against meningitis or imposing speed limits on roads reduce death and disease, but also cost money and limit freedoms.

He added that:

Finding the balance is one of the hardest decisions for governments, but is essentially what we vote politicians to do. In normal times, it is possible to use calculations of, say, cost per life saved, to provide some framework to guide decisions. In the UK, if an intervention costs less than £30,000 per year of life saved, then it is usually accepted in terms of healthcare.

A Downing Street spokesperson said “there is no set number of acceptable deaths from Covid”. This is a point that a lot of members of the public seem to agree on. Perhaps someone needs to tell Boris Johnson.

Featured Image via Wikimedia Commons/No 10 Downing Street


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  • Show Comments
    1. For goodness sake, Capitalists care about money not people. This isn’t rocket science. The Butcher of Britain, aka Killer Johnson, & his Court Jesters have polished off at least 180,000+ to date. Wake up !!

    2. Currently we have a death toll of over 100 a day – a few days ago 174 – according to the guardian’s daily figures – by the above we should be in lockdown now.
      However everyone seems to be acting as though it is all over with fewer and fewer people wearing masks and taking precautions.
      Vaccination is certainly reducing the death rate but it is still high and infections getting closer to 40,000.
      But they have got away with 150k + so what does a third of that matter – there are shareholder dividends to save.

    3. Wouldn’t those kind of numbers strongly suggest the vaccines don’t work? In that situation, I suspect there would be a far greater crisis of confidence in our public institutions than merely a domestic political one.

    4. 50k, or effectively, twice the rate of annual ‘NORMAL’ flu deaths in the UK.

      So twice the rate of seasonal respiratory infections, triggers a lockdown.

      It’s curious that so many people can not give a flying shit about 27k annual flu deaths, and yet go into a flying panic about a fraction of that number covid deaths.

      My, it’s almost like 2 years of corporate media fearmongering has made people terrified personally of covid, but not of flu, with which it shares the same target groups.

      This doesn’t sound like anything that came from Johnson, because it smacks of a DECISION. Probably set by SAGE or a civil service bureaucrat.

      If anything, it’s too tight.

      Its most likely, that in ~3 or so years time, all the people who are now up in arms about losing ANY lives to covid, will be uncaring when the other, older seasonal respitory deseases start killing us again.

      Corporate media fearmongering is a powerful force. Look how many people are suddenly concerned over the rights of women in Afghanistan. Yet not many of them cared about the 10s of thousands of them killed by American and NATO forces leading up to now.

      Beware the bandwagons.

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