The Guardian reports that homeless charities add their voices to a plea by the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal College of General Practitioners, for the govt to bring back the “everyone in” policy from earlier in the lockdown when 15,000 homeless people were provided with emergency accommodation in hotels. Medical experts are expecting deaths on an unprecedented scale as rough sleeper will be faced with the awful choice of having to sleep in crowded shelters, where there’s little protection from COVID, or sleeping out in the cold and freezing to death.
Significantly, one of the signatories on the letter is Prof Andrew Hayward, a member of the government’s own Sage advisory group and director of UCL’s Institute of Epidemiology and Health Care. This does suggests then that even Sage advisers don’t trust the govt to listen to medical experts and do the right thing, or he wouldn’t have felt the need to add pressure in a very public way.
It seems COVID is proving quite the boon to Tories who are forever looking for ways to reduce the burden on the state. They’ve already greatly reduced the number of elderly, disabled and other vulnerable people in need of medical or social care. I doubt many would be surprised if, in a few months time, the government will be boasting about how they’ve done a cracking job reducing the number of homeless people as well.