Dominic Cummings, a former chief adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, has said the UK failed in the COVID-19 crisis and has been “disastrously below standards” during the pandemic.
In a blunt attack on the government he once served, Cummings told lawmakers investigating the UK’s response on Wednesday that some ministers and officials went on holiday in February last year, when the virus angered everyone. the country, while asking the health secretary to be fired.
Cummings said the government “was not operating at war in February in any way, form or form,” adding that “a lot of people were literally skiing.”
“The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials and senior advisers like me, were disastrously below the standards the public has a right to expect from their government in a crisis like this,” Cummings said.
“When the public needed us most, the government failed,” he said, adding that people “died unnecessarily” as a result.
Cummings hits Johnson
The UK has recorded close to 128,000 deaths from coronavirus, the highest toll in Europe and the fifth worst in the world.
A mass vaccination campaign that began in December has drastically reduced infections and deaths, but the government acknowledges it will have to answer serious questions about its handling of the virus in a future public investigation.
When the pandemic began, critics accused Johnson of being too slow to react to the threat of the virus.
After leaving Johnson’s team late last year, Cummings has become one of the prime minister’s most vocal critics of his handling of the pandemic.
On Wednesday, Cummings alleged that Johnson in early 2020 considered COVID a “fear story” like swine flu and was too slow to implement a first national blockade, which went into effect on March 23rd.
Cummings said Johnson was so skeptical of the virus that he considered getting the government’s chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, to inject him with the new coronavirus on live television to reassure the public.
Hancock “should have been fired”
According to Cummings, Health Secretary Matt Hancock should have been fired for lying at government meetings at COVID-19.
Asked for an example, he said Hancock had told ministers that the supply of personal protective equipment was under control in April, but that it was later shown that was not the case.
One of the architects of the success of the campaign to remove the UK from the European Union, Cummings was appointed top adviser when Johnson became prime minister in 2019.
He left in November, months after he was widely accused of violating blocking rules.
“This whole episode was definitely a major disaster for the government and COVID policy,” Cummings said Wednesday as he apologized for his bad judgment.
The government has repeatedly denied his allegations, which he often shares on Twitter.
Johnson said Wednesday he did not accept Cummings’ testimony.
“Treating this pandemic has been one of the most difficult things this country has had to do in a long time, but none of the decisions have been easy,” Johnson told Parliament in response to the party leader’s questioning. opposition Labor Party leader Keir Starmer.
“Going into closure is a traumatic thing for a country, dealing with a scale pandemic has been terribly difficult and we have tried at all stages to minimize the loss of lives, save lives and protect the NHS, and we have followed the best scientific advice we can “.