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Sat 18 April 2020:

From ‘herd immunity’ to lack of testing, Britain’s coronavirus response. Plus, Israeli surveillance during COVID-19.

On The Listening Post this week: From “herd immunity” to lack of testing, Britain’s coronavirus response has needed more media scrutiny. Plus, Israeli surveillance under cover of COVID-19.

COVID-19 in Britain: The death toll and the media deference

As the coronavirus death toll in the UK continues to mount – there is a growing market for explanations. And it is not being met at 10 Downing Street.

Government officials at the daily briefings are dodging difficult questions. Journalists are failing to get answers. This has meant politicians have been getting away with vague or incomplete answers on some serious failings – such as the lack of testing, personal protective equipment for healthcare workers and ventilators – in a relatively prosperous country.

Then there are the questionable decisions that Prime Minister Boris Johnson took in the early stages.  Johnson caught the virus – but has recovered. His personal story has received plenty of attention.

But how we got here – and who is responsible – is a larger story, yet to be properly told.


Hardeep Matharu – Editor, Byline Times

Karin Wahl-Jorgensen – Journalism professor, Cardiff University

Helen Ward – Professor of Public Health, Imperial College London

Carole Cadwalladr – Reporter, The Observer

On our radar:

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Nicholas Muirhead about the novel methods those under lockdown are using to get their stories about COVID-19 heard on the outside.

Pandemic panopticon – Israeli surveillance under cover of COVID-19

Here at The Listening Post, we have been tracking how some governments are using technology to monitor the movements of their citizens and curb the spread of the coronavirus.

We examined some of the long-term implications of that – the concern that even if this pandemic is brought under control, those governments might prove reluctant to give up their new surveillance powers. Israel would be a case in point.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu now has the legal right to surveil Israeli citizens in new ways, and he acquired that right without even consulting the parliament. Israel already has expertise in this field. It has spent decades honing its ability – and the technology required – to monitor the movements of Palestinians.

The Listening Post’s Tariq Nafi reports from home on the surveillance that Palestinians have been subjected to – and whether Israelis can see what’s coming.


Yossi Melman – Writer, Haaretz

Marwa Fatafta – Policy manager, Access Now

Yael Berda – Assistant professor, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Source: Al Jazeera News

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