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PIERS MORGAN: Spare me your hypocritical claps for the NHS, Prime Minister - you've told lie after lie about why so many health and care workers have died and now you're giving the heroes who saved your life another massive slap in the face

PIERS MORGAN: Spare me your hypocritical claps for the NHS, Prime Minister - you've told lie after lie about why so many health and care workers have died and now you're giving the heroes who saved your life another massive slap in the face
Six weeks ago, Boris Johnson lay close to death in the intensive care unit of a London hospital.
By his own dramatic account later, doctors and nurses frantically filled him with 'litres and litres of oxygen' to keep him alive.
'It was a tough old moment, I won't deny it,' he recalled. 'They had a strategy to deal with a 'death of Stalin'-type scenario. I was not in particularly brilliant shape and I was aware there were no contingency plans in place. The bloody indicators kept going in the wrong direction.'
The Prime Minister kept asking himself 'How am I going to get out of this?'
Thankfully, he did get out of it.
How?
Six weeks ago, Boris Johnson (pictured with Carrie Symonds outside Downing Street last Thursday) lay close to death in the intensive care unit of a London hospital, writes Piers Morgan
Six weeks ago, Boris Johnson (pictured with Carrie Symonds outside Downing Street last Thursday) lay close to death in the intensive care unit of a London hospital, writes Piers Morgan
'It was thanks to some wonderful, wonderful nursing that I made it,' he said. 'They really did it and they made a huge difference.'
At that point of his interview with The Sun, we're told Boris Johnson's voice faltered, his eyes reddened, and he paused to take a deep breath.
'I get emotional about it,' he said. 'But it was an extraordinary thing.'
When he first came out of hospital, Johnson named many of those who helped saved his life – 'Po Ling and Shannon and Emily and Angel and Connie and Becky and Rachael and Nicky and Ann.'
He paid special tribute to two nurses in particular – 'Jenny from New Zealand and Luis from Portugal.'
Johnson said: 'The reason in the end my body did start to get enough oxygen was because for every second of the night they were watching, and they were thinking and they were caring and making the interventions I needed. 
'So that is how I also know that across this country, 24 hours a day, for every second of every hour, there are hundreds of thousands of NHS staff who are acting with the same care and thought and precision as Jenny and Luis. It is hard to find the words to express my debt. It could have gone either way.'
He also lavished effusive praise on all the others who had helped pull him through.
'I have of course seen the pressure that the NHS is under,' he said. 'I've seen the personal courage, not just of the doctors and nurses, but of everyone, the cleaners, the cooks, the healthcare workers of every description. Physios, radiographers, pharmacists who kept coming to work, kept putting themselves in harm's way, kept risking this deadly virus.'
Today, Boris Johnson stood up in the House of Commons and revealed just how risky it has been for NHS and care workers on the frontline battling this deadly virus.
Pictured: Nurse Jenny McGee
Pictured: Luis Pitarma
After he recovered, Mr Johnson paid special tribute to two nurses in particular – 'Jenny McGee from New Zealand (left) and Luis Pitarma from Portugal' (right)
Boris Johnson is seen leaving Downing Street for Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon
Boris Johnson is seen leaving Downing Street for Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon
A staggering 181 NHS staff have so far died from coronavirus, more than the 179 British military personnel who died in the Iraq War.
Another 131 care workers have died.
This is a truly horrifying death toll, part of the overall number of 62,000 people that are now believed to have lost their lives in the UK during the crisis.
(To put THAT figure into perspective, 67,000 civilians died in the UK during the entire Second World War.)
Yet Boris Johnson says his priority mission to 'protect the NHS' has been a 'success.'
And so do his senior ministers.
Time after time, the likes of Health Secretary Matt Hancock, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, and Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove have proudly boasted of how they stopped the NHS from being over-run.
Yet the ever-rising NHS worker death toll points to an abject failure to 'protect the NHS', not success.
We know why so many NHS and care workers have died: They weren't, as they have repeatedly said, given enough of the right Personal Protection Equipment.
This is a scandal, not a success.
And we now know why the NHS itself wasn't 'over-run' – it was because the Government ordered hospitals to send thousands of elderly patients back to their care homes without even testing them to see if they had COVID-19.
A staggering 181 NHS staff have died so far from coronavirus, more than the 179 British military personnel who died in the Iraq War (Pictured: health workers who have died in the Covid-19 crisis)
A staggering 181 NHS staff have died so far from coronavirus, more than the 179 British military personnel who died in the Iraq War (Pictured: health workers who have died in the Covid-19 crisis)
In fact, the Government specifically said they didn't need to be tested.
This catastrophic mistake has led to a second ferocious phase of the epidemic in care homes that has caused over 22,000 excess deaths.
Boris Johnson said last week that care homes were locked down before the rest of the UK. This has now been proven to be a lie.
Matt Hancock and Michael Gove both said the Government had put a 'protective ring' around care homes. This has also been proven to be a lie.
Politico UK journalist Jack Blanchard today quoted Susan McKinney, who owns 14 care homes in the north-east: 'We had an incident on April 10 where twice we rang the hospital saying, "we can't accept this person back, we need them tested, we need a negative test so we know what we're dealing with."
'They turned up at the door in an ambulance and refused to go away. There was a sort of stand-off at the door of the home. The family members turned up, the paramedics had the poor resident on a stretcher at the door and would not go away until we allowed them in. And all we got was "you're not following the guidelines" … We were threatened with the police if we did not let this person in.'
So no, there was no 'protective ring', there was in fact the complete opposite.
People with COVID-19 were deliberately sent back into care homes where they infected many elderly and vulnerable people who then died.
That, as Andrew Neil told me on Good Morning Britain today, is a 'scandal', not a success.
As for Boris Johnson's moving tribute to the NHS staff who saved him, you might think he has now moved to reward them – right?
I mean, he's supposedly a 'changed man' since his brush with death, and we see him every Thursday night furiously clapping the NHS outside the No10 door.
But you would be wrong.
Before the crisis began, an NHS surcharge was slapped on all migrant healthcare workers who came from outside the European Economic Area, and on all members of their families.
It was £400 a year, a lot of money for many of those asked to pay it.
Particularly as they already pay taxes and national insurance that contribute to the NHS.
But that wasn't enough of a punishment apparently, so in March, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the Government was increasing the Immigration Health Surcharge to £624 from October.
And from next January, it will be extended to all EU citizens when Brexit is completed.
So, all migrant workers who come from outside the UK to work in the NHS will have to pay thousands of pounds extra for them and their families to the NHS they serve, on top of the taxes and national insurance they will also be paying from their salaries.
This is being done, Sunak said, 'to ensure that new arrivals to the UK contribute to the funding of the NHS' and that 'what people get out, they also put in.'
At the time, this seemed an astonishingly tone-deaf thing to be doing to the very people risking their lives to save others from coronavirus on the NHS frontline.
Today, given the shocking NHS staff death toll, which includes many migrant workers, it seems utterly disgusting.
There are 153,000 overseas workers in the NHS.
Many of those work at St Thomas's Hospital where the Prime Minister's life was saved.
You would think that Boris Johnson, of all people, would want to scrap such a grotesquely unfair financial burden on the very people who helped save him.
But he doesn't. He wants to increase it.
In the Commons today, he said he'd 'thought about it a great deal' but decided to go ahead with the massively hiked surcharge.
'I do accept and understand the difficulties faced by our amazing NHS staff,' he said. 'I've been a personal beneficiary of carers who have come from abroad and frankly, saved my life. On the other hand, we must look at the realities. This is a great national service, it's a national institution, it needs funding and those contributions actually help us to raise about £900 million and it's very difficult in the current circumstances to find alternative sources.'
Sorry, WHAT?
You're going to further punish the NHS workers like 'Jenny from New Zealand' who saved your life because you WANT THEIR MONEY?
In the general scheme of the economic toll of this crisis, £900 million is a drop in the ocean for this Government right now.
Yet to those who will have to pay it, it may be a crippling sum that forces them to leave the country they are currently serving with such courage, resilience and humanity.
I've seen some disgusting acts of ingratitude in my time, but this is the worst.
And it gets worse: the Times reported today that despite the Government announcing that families and dependents of migrant NHS workers who die from the virus could stay in the UK indefinitely, Priti Patel's Home Office has now revealed the scheme will only apply to certain occupations like nursing, not to care workers, hospital cleaners or porters.
So, the families of many heroes who've died now face being kicked out of Britain because their loved ones gave their lives to save others.
This is another absolute disgrace.
Spare me any more of your hypocritical claps for the NHS, Prime Minister.
You've just given those who saved your life a massive slap in the face.

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