Premier League stars are the scapegoats when politicians should be looking elsewhere for answers – James Benge

As the death toll from coronavirus skyrocketed, as the government battled criticism of their botched testing policy, as NHS staff ask when they will have the basic equipment they need to do their job without taking their lives into their hands there was only one question that needed asking: yeah, but what about all these Premier League footballers and their money-grabbing ways?

The question of footballers’ wages ought to be an utter irrelevance at times like these. And yet the people need their bread and circuses; what could enliven the national mood now than a great big argument over whether Harry Kane or Raheem Sterling earn more money than they deserve for “something most of us would do for free anyway!”

As of yesterday only 2,000 of 50,000 frontline NHS staff had been tested for coronavirus.

Doctors and nurses speak of widespread shortages in personal protective equipment, or at least they would like to.

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Evidence from the Doctors’ Association UK (DAUK) alleges that staff have been threatened with disciplinary action if they speak to the press over the problems their profession faces. At a time when anyone able to lend a hand is desperately needed Dr Samantha Batt Rawden, DAUK’s president, says that at least two of her members have been sent home from work for voicing their concerns.

The family of Thomas Harvey, a 57-year-old healthcare assistant at Goodmayes Hospital in east London, believe that he would still have been alive with the right protective equipment. According to them and a former colleague all he had been given was gloves.

He came into contact with a patient who had COVID-19 symptoms on a ward where the hospital said there were “no symptomatic patients”. On Sunday he passed away.

“If he had just had the right equipment we wouldn’t be in this predicament and it wouldn’t have escalated in the way it did,” his…


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