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Tony Blair tells Lionel Barber he 'doesn't understand' why Government isn't mass testing
3 November 2020, 00:04
Tony Blair has said he "doesn't understand" why the Government is not mass testing with rapid Covid-19 kits during an interview on Lionel Barber's brand new LBC podcast What Next?
The former Prime Minister told Lionel that he thinks rapid on-the-spot tests being developed by private companies should be widespread and that "failure to develop that infrastructure of testing" is one of the biggest mistake the Government has made so far.
"The only bridge I see between where we are and where we need to be with the vaccine is testing - and that's the thing I don't understand," he said.
Mr Blair claims there is a "debate going on in Government which hasn't really surfaced" about the so-called rapid on-the-spot tests.
Most recently, Boots launched a 12-minute nasal swab test that costs £120 - it is these which the former Prime Minister thinks should be rolled out for free across the country.
"It's true that they're not at the same accuracy as your standard PCR test (which the Government currently uses) but they are accurate enough for may purposes," he added.
Mr Blair also criticised the Government's handling on lockdowns and claims Boris Johnson "was too slow to lock down" -but he "can understand" the difficulties of making such huge decisions.
He continued: "I have every sympathy for people in Government and I also think that it's incredibly difficult to work out what the right choices are to make."
Lionel Barber, the former Editor of the Financial Times, recently joined LBC – Britain’s biggest commercial news talk station – to host a brand-new podcast series available exclusively on Global Player.
In his first broadcast venture since the FT, What Next? with Lionel Barber focuses on life beyond the current pandemic and sees the multi-award-winning journalist and author discover how the world is adapting to it, what needs to change and, most importantly, what lessons we have learnt that will shape our lives for the future.
Listen to: What Next? with Lionel Barber