IN his personal opinion column (Echo, Jun 6), Professor Ahmet Fuat blames the Government’s mishandling of the pandemic for the loss of more than 150,000 lives.

So China, which kept everyone in the dark and stopped internal travel while allowing international travel, was blameless?

Also, the Chinese Communist Party must have known about the asymptomatic spread but failed to divulge it. I find it abhorrent that a professor can make such crass and blatantly untrue accusations.

Covid kills. The Government’s role was to organise financial support to allow the country to function while at the same time protecting the NHS. There was no vaccine available; the only way to protect the NHS was to stop the spread.

Of course the medical profession must also shoulder its share of blame.

As I understand it, nobody should get discharged from hospital without a clinical assessment. Doctors are duty bound not to discharge patients when their discharge will put the patient’s health, or the health of the general public, at risk.

If the NHS was telling ward staff to clear as many beds as possible to make space for Covid patients, then the clinical staff, who should have known about possible asymptomatic spread, should have insisted on quarantine of patients being discharged to care homes.

As for the old left-wing mantra about austerity and widespread poverty, the electorate are not stupid. They can remember back to the Blair/Brown bankruptcy.

If we had not had austerity, we would not have been able to borrow the monies now required. Fact.

There are two main drivers of poverty among the lower paid: 1. The cost of housing.

2. The increased cost of housing caused by parents splitting-up.

The high cost of housing is simply due to supply and demand. Successive governments have not built enough housing to even cope with the natural population growth. However, on top of that they have not allowed for the pressure on the housing market of legal or illegal immigration. After Brexit, the Government estimated that 4.8m EU migrants would register to stay. However, the final number is more likely to be between 5.4m and 5.6m.

Add to that, say, two million illegal immigrants and it is clear that successive governments have lost control of our population numbers and our housing needs.

Where do those who support mass immigration expect the migrants to live? Gordon Brown’s much vaunted Building Schools for the Future programme can now be seen as building schools for immigrants and Tony Blair’s record spending on the NHS can now be seen as merely enabling the NHS to cope with the increase in the population due to immigration.

Dr Fuat accuses the Government of favouring Conservative seats for investment. Many of these seats are ex-red wall seats.

When I first came from Scotland to work in this area, I thought that the electorate voted Labour because the area was relatively poor.

I have now come to realise that the area is relatively poor BECAUSE the electorate voted Labour. The majority of the electorate appear to be with me on this.

Alastair PG Welsh, Aycliffe Village.