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An inquiry into COVID-19 is needed now
  1. John W Puntis
  1. Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr John W Puntis, Leeds General Infirmary, Leeds LS1 3EX, UK; john.puntis{at}

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COVID-19 has been notable for England topping the list of European countries for excess mortality.1 The significant negative implications for the well-being of children have been widely discussed.2 Some argue we could never have been fully prepared for an outbreak of a novel infective agent and point to countries like the USA and Brazil that have even worse records. There are, however, many other places with much better outcomes. Doubtless the reasons for this can be debated, but such differences surely lend weight to the call for a national inquiry so that lessons can be learnt.

While the Westminster government considers it too soon to hold such an investigation, respected academics like Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet …

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  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JWP is cochair of Keep Our NHS Public.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.