by Frank Schnittger
Thu Dec 3rd, 2020 at 03:20:56 PM EST
The United Kingdom is getting a coronavirus vaccine first because it is a "much better country" than France, Belgium and the United States, a British cabinet minister has declared.
Gavin Williamson, the education secretary, praised the work done by the medical regulator to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine for use.
Mr Williamson said the United Kingdom's status as the first country to approve a vaccine is due to its superior experts.
"I just reckon we've got the very best people in this country and we've obviously got the best medical regulator, much better than the French have, much better than the Belgians have, much better than the Americans have," he told LBC Radio.
"That doesn't surprise me at because we're a much better country than every single one of them."
So the fact that the vaccine was developed in Germany by scientists of Turkish extraction and will be largely manufactured in Belgium by an American company counts for nothing when compared to the brilliance of UK regulators still operating under EU law? Meanwhile the British led Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine is still undergoing testing and Trump's much heralded "warp speed" initiative has yet to produce a proven vaccine.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock even gave Brexit the credit for the breakthrough even though all the data on which the emergency use authorisation has been issued came from EU sources. But then the UK also had a "world leading" contract tracing system and phone app which didn't work resulting, in part, to one of the worst Covid-19 related death rates in the world despite the fact that only deaths in hospitals within 28 days of a positive test result have been counted.
I suppose these pronouncements build on the meme that the EU is a bureaucracy suffocated artifice unable to compete with the lean private sector led and light touch regulated post Brexit UK. Or maybe it just reflects how much the UK has lost confidence in itself that it has to trumpet every minor issue as some kind of world beating advance. Like Trump, they have learned that creating false narratives is more important than the truth provided you can get it out there in time.