PUBLIC INQUIRY: Coronavirus Inquiry should start on day one of new parliament

Prime Minister Boris Johnston,  Willie Rennie and Douglas Ross – Tories called out for insensitivity.

By Rory Murphy

As Coronavirus restrictions begin to ease, Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said that a Coronavirus Inquiry should be set up on day one after the election to start learning lessons from the pandemic.

The party believes such an inquiry should make interim reports every six months so that early lessons can start being learned and improvements made to how Scotland continues to respond to the pandemic.

The Scottish Liberal Democrat leader also said that the Inquiry should include public health experts from other countries where the response to the early stages of the pandemic seem to have been more effective – for example New Zealand.

Willie Rennie said: “Scotland has had one of the highest per capita death rates in the entire world. We know that in part this was due to major errors surrounding the handling of care homes, shortages of PPE and a lack of capacity for testing and contact tracing

“As coronavirus restrictions start to ease again, we must put recovery first and ensure the same mistakes are never repeated.

“That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling for the coronavirus inquiry to be set up on day one after the election so we can start learning lessons now.

“To win back trust, I want to see the inquiry making its first interim report in six months and include experts from countries where the response seems to have been more effective.”

Meanwhile, responding to Boris Johnson’s alleged recent comments saying he would rather bodies piled “high in their thousands” than order a third social and economic lockdown to stem coronavirus infections, Alistair Carmichael said:

“If this quote is correct, it is a truly atrocious comment from an atrocious Prime Minister. When Johnson himself was hospitalised well wishes flooded in from across the country, it’s sad that he does not share the shame concern for others.

“Not only do these comments display a callous disregard for the tens of thousands who have lost their lives but they display a profound misunderstanding of how the public health and economic crises intertwine. You cannot simply open up, allow the virus to rampant and assume the economy will flourish.

“Boris Johnson and acolytes like Douglas Ross have delivered one of the highest death rates in the world. They should not now be trusted with leading the recovery.”

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