Ireland’s COVID inquiry

Anticipating the next pandemic

Some in the political class seem confident there will be another pandemic. Táiniste Micheál Martin for instance.

In anticipation of which he thinks the inquiry the evaluation should take it easy on those who took action during the COVID pandemic. Because fear of consequences might restrain them during the next pandemic.

Yes. The next one.

But he probably need not worry. Because…

The review is being dubbed an “Independent Pandemic Evaluation,” and will reportedly not be a statutory inquiry. This means it will not have the powers to compel witnesses to give evidence, nor will it be able to set limits on the government’s discretionary control of the inquiry. It will reportedly focus on “lessons” that can be learned from the pandemic and lockdown period.

Anticipating the lessons

At a guess the core lesson is going to be that, for the next pandemic, those acting for the greater good in the public interest need not be worried should they mislead, lie, misdirect, err, conceal, distract, omit, ignore, bully, coerce, threaten, manipulate, terrorise, deprive, incite or somehow make a whole plethora of medical, health, economic, social or human-right-infringing mistakes or judgement calls. As long as they’re applying the lessons the government the Independent Pandemic Evaluation decided were to be learned from the COVID pandemic, they’ll be fine.