UK PM Johnson considered having Covid injection in early 2020

Henrietta Strickland
May 26, 2021

Britain's health minister Matt Hancock should have been fired for lying in government meetings on COVID-19, Prime Minster Boris Johnson's former top adviser Dominic Cummings said on Wednesday. She walked into the office while we're looking at this whiteboard.

"The Cabinet Secretary said: 'Prime Minister, you should go on TV tomorrow, and explain to people the herd immunity plan, and that it's like the old chicken pox parties". There is no plan.

The Prime Minister's official spokesman said: "We have always been guided by the latest advice at that time and we have taken a number of steps to protect care home residents and those being discharged from hospitals into care homes". Cummings told the panel: "almost the first meeting I had in the cabinet room was about the disaster over PPE and how we were actually completely short and hospitals all over the country were running out".

Dominic Cummings is expected to cause quite a stir.

Cummings's evidence gave an alarming insight into the heart of the British government as it grappled with the onset of what would become the most devastating public health crisis in a century.

This included a potential bombing campaign in the Middle East at the request of Dominic Trump, and a story in The Times newspaper about Boris Johnson and his fiancee Carrie Symonds' dog.

He told the committee: "I said repeatedly from February and March if we don't fire the secretary of state and if we don't get the testing in someone else's hands we are going to kill people and it's going to be a catastrophe".

"So we had this completely insane situation where parts of the building were saying, are we going to bomb Iraq, part of the building arguing about whether we are going to argue about are we going to do quarantine or not".

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Such was Johnson's scepticism about Covid-19, he even told officials he was considering getting the government's chief medical advisor to inject him with the novel coronavirus to show the public it was not a big threat, Cummings said.

Cummings reserved his strongest criticism for the leadership throughout parts of Whitehall, most notably the Health Secretary Matt Hancock who he said should have been fired for "at least 15 to 20 things".

"He laughed and said "you're right, I am more frightened of you having the power to stop the chaos, chaos isn't that bad, chaos means that everyone has to look to me to see who's in charge".

"The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me, fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this", Cummings said.

Asked about Cummings's critique at a weekly question-and-answer session in parliament, Johnson said nobody could credibly accuse him or his government of complacency.

In a blistering personal attack on the health secretary, Cummings accused Hancock of lying to his cabinet colleagues. I think the Secretary of State for Health is certainly one of those people.

British officials, he said, failed to learn the early COVID lessons from Asia, were resistant to new ideas from young scientists, overly secretive, overly bureaucratic and lacked any real scrutiny from a compliant domestic media. "I am truly sorry for the suffering that the people of this country have experienced".

"In the summer he said that everybody who needed treatment got the treatment they required".

Chairman of the health select committee Jeremy Hunt said Mr Cummings had raised "very serious allegations said under parliamentary privilege" about Mr Hancock's behaviour and the health secretary would have a chance to respond to them when he appeared before the committee in a fortnight.

He added that "the core of the Government kind of collapsed when the Prime Minister got ill himself, because he's suddenly gone and then people are literally thinking that he might die".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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