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‘Wishful thinking’: the dangers of UK hype during Covid-19

From the UK government over-promising on testing to scientific spin on a vaccine, realism is in short supply

They were billed by the UK health secretary, Matt Hancock, as “lifesaving” and “hugely beneficial”: two new coronavirus tests that claim to deliver results within 90 minutes, promoted enthusiastically to the public with the help of front pages in the Times, the i and the Daily Mail, which declared they would “transform the war on corona”.

The suppliers are little known, evaluation data is not yet available, and it is unclear how effective the tests are outside hospital settings, not least because taking blood or swabs is difficult for non-medics.

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