Trump rips UK prime minister over latest coronavirus lockdown

In a Saturday tweet, President Donald Trump went nuclear on U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson over his stringent new lockdown orders that many say are essentially “canceling Christmas” in that country in an effort to combat the coronavirus.

“We don’t want to have lockdowns,” President Trump said, retweeting a video of Johnson’s press conference announcing the new restrictions, according to Breitbart. “The cure cannot be worse than the problem itself!”

New restrictions necessary, Johnson says

Johnson had originally planned to give his constituents a five-day break from the current restrictions over Christmas, but instead decided to make the restrictions even more severe, according to Fortune — especially in London and much of southeast England, where a new strain of COVID-19 that is said to be up to 70% more transmissible has been detected.

According to Fortune, the new restrictions include shutdowns of all non-essential businesses, a ban on “household mixing,” and stay-at-home orders that apply unless people must travel for work, education, or health care. Outside of London and the rest of “tier four,” residents are reportedly allowed to visit other households on Christmas Day only.

Johnson said the new restrictions are necessary to combat the coronavirus and prevent hospitals from being overwhelmed with sick patients after new case numbers in London doubled in only one week.

“When the virus changes its method of attack we must change our method of defense,” he told reporters, according to Fortune. “Without action, the evidence suggests infections would soar, hospitals would become overwhelmed and many thousands more would lose their lives.”

“Job prospects destroyed”

The new strain of the virus seems to be nearly unique to the U.K., and 60% of its current cases are being attributed to the new strain, Fortune reports. Officials don’t believe the strain is different enough to impact the vaccine’s efficiency, however. It is normal for viruses to mutate and change over time.

Johnson, for his part, said the lockdown rules would be reviewed on Dec. 30, but Trump says the rules could be more damaging than the virus itself, which has seen its mortality rate drop since March due to new treatments and therapeutics.

U.K. Supreme Court former justice and current Supplementary Panel member Jonathan Sumption has also disagreed with the lockdown measures and spoken out against them, saying none of the strict measures have worked in any of the countries in Europe where it has been tried, Breitbart reported.

“[P]ause to think about the damage all this is inflicting on the young,” Lord Sumption urged the public in a piece for The Telegraph. “They are seeing their careers and job prospects destroyed before their eyes. We will get over COVID-19 eventually. Many of them will never get over the long-term effects of the countermeasures.”

Sumption also called Johnson’s new lockdown “immoral” and “useless,” suggesting that lockdowns might reduce cases while they are in place, but that they only make things worse later and defer the cases, leading leaders to think more lockdowns are needed. “That is why we are where we are now,” he said.

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