ALTHOUGH Donald Trump’s premeditated legal threats have discredited democracy and damaged his nation’s reputation in the wider world, his performance in the polls was far better than practically every pollster predicted.

He received about three million votes than he got four years ago.

There are many reasons for this, but one is that people assumed that this would be a Covid election. However, if you believe exit polls, only 17 per cent of voters cast their ballot for the candidate they believed would handle the pandemic best whereas 35 per cent voted for economic reasons.

In this country, with both the Conservatives and Labour supporting lockdown, it is only rebel Tory MPs providing a voice for those who think the economic damage caused by lockdown is an over-reaction.

The debate is well worth having, and Rishi Sunak’s package yesterday suggested the Government expects serious economic damage.

However, this evening’s Downing Street briefing at last provided some clear and understandable data. At the start of October, there were 2,000 Covid patients in hospital; at the start of November, there were 11,037. That compares to 7,000 in hospital with cancer, and 3,000 who might be hospitalised by a serious flu outbreak. It is impossible to deny that we are in a health crisis.