Sunday, 29 March 2020

Whatever happened to Public Health England?

Public Health England has been strangely quiet during the pandemic. Its CEO Duncan Selbie, who earns more than the prime minister, has been nowhere to be seen. The job of tackling coronavirus has been left to the NHS and the Chief Medical Officer while PHE has been reduced to retweeting the Department of Health.

Only a tiny fraction of the £4 billion spent on public health in England goes towards the prevention of infectious disease. Far more is spent hassling people about their lifestyles. I have long called for the WHO and other public health agencies to focus on genuine public health problems rather than lifestyle regulation. Nothing could have fully prepared us for coronavirus but you'd think £4 billion a year would at least get us a decent supply on face masks.

I discuss this and more with Claire Fox and Tom Slater in the latest episode of the Last Orders podcast. Have a listen.

Public Health England is a beacon of competence compared to the wretched World Health Organisation. Patrick Basham has produced a shocking timeline showing the WHO's mismanagement of the pandemic and its creepily pro-China stance. It's well worth reading.

I was also talking to Mike Graham on TalkRadio last week about the economic implications of the lockdown.

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