The COVID-19 Catastrophe by Richard Horton

The COVID-19 Catastrophe by Richard Horton – What’s Gone Wrong and How to Stop It Happening Again – is a catastrophe in itself. Gosh this book was a disappointment. I only read it because I was at the library, waiting for something and it was so short I thought I should finish it anyway.

The COVID-19 Catastrophe by Richard Horton

The author, Horton, is the editor of the medical journal The Lancet. I had high expectations, but the book was so poorly written and data was poorly researched. It was a diatribe against the UK government with some pretty stupid mentions when it came to other countries, such as India and China. So, the idea is that UK bad, Germany good because of testing, without analysing why testing couldn’t be made in UK, for example, and why testing was important as it’s not widely used for other respiratory diseases such as flu.

He blames the government for “disregard for scientific evidence” while saying that there wasn’t a medical consensus on what should be done, and that government advisors did not engage enough with their Chinese counterparts. Well, he didn’t believe COVID was a big deal in January too, see his message on twitter below:

twitter

As for his examples of amazing government response… I think everybody can remember the horrifying scenes from India, with people dying in cars in front of hospitals. This happened after the book was published, but someone in his position should have imagined that the poor state of the healthcare system in India would not cope with a surge in cases. As for China, who is presented in a good light because they made special isolation places for people, so they don’t stay at home and infect others… China is still in lockdown! Millions of people are kept in what amounts to a prison, because they refused to buy vaccines made in Europe and they are still using their low-efficiency vaccines.

I borrowed another book by him, but I don’t think I will read it. I don’t trust him as a source. The data is mishandled, showing a list of deaths by country, a total number and not per-capita which even so it’s not great, and data such as excess deaths should be analysed instead, as the way deaths were recorded differed.

The COVID-19 Catastrophe by Richard Horton

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 1/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: no
Published by: Polity Press
Year it was published: 2020
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History, as primary source
Pages: 140

About the author: Richard Horton is editor of the medical journal The Lancet.
Website & Social Media Links: –



3 thoughts on “The COVID-19 Catastrophe by Richard Horton”

  • I think China made a huge mistake by not allowing to import of more reliable vaccines from the west and the results are now there to see with the Covid situation in China has deteriorated completely.

  • Oh, wow…. I don’t think I’ve ever seen you give a rating this low before! I’m surprised someone with those credentials would have his name on such a poorly researched and written book.
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    • I gave 1 stars before, but this time I was really annoyed by how inaccurate the data was presented. He was editor at the Lancet when it published the MMR “study” which was retracted. Why he is still there I don’t know. So, there are many problems with him.

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