Boris Johnson’s ‘moonshot’ plan for mass coronavirus tests that don’t exist could cost £100 billion, leaked documents declare.
The Prime Minister wants up to 10 million rapid tests handed to employees each day, which could cover the whole population in a week. But its cost would be larger than the entire annual defence or education budget and nearly as much as NHS spending in a year.
Last night the Prime Minister stated he was striving for a system where millions of Brits would get rapid tests before heading off to work, but his own scientific advisors poured cold water on the scheme, warning that the technology isn’t available and it’s not a slam dunk.
Now papers leaked to the British Medical Journal and the Guardian contend the scheme would have an immense price tag.
The paper, allegedly an official document, says ‘Operation Moonshot’ is the Prime Minister’s only hope for dodging a second national lockdown.
It adds that the expectation is that this would need about 6 million tests per day and that it would cost over £100 billion to deliver and that SAGE is presently modelling the possible impact of such a programme on R, and the Treasury is doing the same for the economy.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps today revealed the technology does not yet exist, and he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that it isn’t here now, and that was the whole point of a moonshot.
The Prime Minister spelt out the plans at last night’s No 10 press conference as he confirmed it will be illegal to meet in groups of more than six people, and he said in the near future that they want to begin using testing to identify people who are negative, who don’t have coronavirus and who are not infectious so that they can allow them to behave in a more normal way.
And he stated that he hoped and believed that new types of tests which were easy, fast and scalable would become available and that they use swabs or saliva and can turn round results in 90 or even 20 minutes.
He continued that crucially, it could be possible to deploy these tests on a far larger scale than any country has yet accomplished, and that literally millions of tests could be processed every single day.
The scheme could see Brits get a test result with their morning cup of tea before they head off to work, but Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said the technology was not yet available, warning he should not put a date on when it would be because that’s not how science works.
Clearly, Boris Johnson is off to Button Moon in the morning where he will administrate millions of pounds of taxpayers money into something that will never transpire or ever exist.
Yet we keep getting told that this Government isn’t a money tree, but now this present Government seems to have found one – they must have been planting them in secret while the rest of us taxpayers were sleeping because what is certain is, the taxpayer will have to pay it back.