Up until very recently, Boris Johnson has not shown great leadership in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact,...
On Thursday, March 19th, Boris Johnson held a press conference where he stated that the UK can “turn the tide [of the virus] in the next 12 weeks.” When the Sky News political editor asked if Johnson meant that life in the UK could return to normal by summer, Johnson recycled his “Get Brexit Done” campaign slogan, saying, “I’m very confident that we’ll get this thing done.”
Up until very recently, Boris Johnson has not shown great leadership in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic. In fact, just a few days ago, his ‘strategy’ was to allow the virus to spread in order for Britons to build up immunity – a strategy the government admitted was a complete failure.
During that conference, however, he made an abrupt U-turn. His new, quotable sound bite is “turn the tide”. He is currently encouraging people to be more disciplined because, “At the moment, the disease is proceeding in a way that does not seem yet to be responding to our interventions.” He went on to say, “I believe a combination of the measures that we're asking the public to take and better testing, scientific progress, will enable us to get on top of it within the next 12 weeks and turn the tide. Now, I cannot stand here and tell you by the end of June we will be on the downward slope. It's possible, but I simply can't say that's for certain. Of course not. We don't know where we are, we don't know how long this thing will go on for. But what I can say is this is going to be finite; we will turn the tide and I can see how to do it within the next 12 weeks."
Later, when he was asked to explain what ‘turning the tide’ meant, he admitted that the government “don’t know how long” the coronavirus outbreak will last. The conference came about as the number of deaths from the virus reached 144 in the UK. As of 1:00 pm on Sunday, the UK had reported 5,018 confirmed cases. Are his measures too little, too late? Unfortunately, only time will tell.
to turn the tide = inverser le cours de qqc
enable = (ici) permettre
to be on top of something = prendre [qch] en main
within (12 weeks) = (ici) sous (12 semaines)
downward slope = tendance à la baisse, (ici) dépasser la pire
too little, too late = trop peu, trop tard