For Boris Johnson, a rare respite from bad news

By Mark Lander and Stephen Castle

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has always been a riverboat gambler, and as Britain emerges, blinking into the light, from a three-month lockdown, he is making one of the biggest bets of his career: that he can safely reopen a country that has been hit harder by the pandemic than any in Europe.

Johnson finally caught a few breaks this week. British scientists reported success with a decades-old drug that was found to help patients with severe COVID- 19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. The hugely popular Premier League restarted televised soccer games, though playing in empty stadiums. And the government’s scientific advisers are sounding more amenable to reopening pubs and restaurants July 4 and perhaps to relaxing social distancing rules, which would go a long way to restoring normalcy in British society.

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