We are grateful that you drew attention to our book The Covid Consensus through Richard Seymour’s critical commentary (Three years later, there is a new breed of lockdown skeptics – and they are rewriting history, 23 March), followed by Larry Elliott’s supportive comment last month (The price Britain paid for lockdown was colossal. Was there an alternative?, 12 March). Most readers will not be shocked that historians write revisionist histories, or that narratives are more complex than those originally assembled by political elites. When was “history” ever different?
Seymour claims that capitalism has been suspended for a while during the Covid response – which would be news to the world’s billionaires, whose wealth has risen by over $4 trillion in 2020 alone. His critique does not take into account our book’s structural critique of neoliberal capitalism. Meanwhile, his claim that we’re “minimising” Covid ignores our criticism of the treatment of the disease – and our concern that lockdown policies have made the impact of the pandemic far worse on poorer people around the world by ignoring people crammed together.
We are happy to discuss these issues publicly and hope the Guardian provides a format for this important discussion.
King’s College London
Post Source Guardian
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