The one who was Boris Johnson’s right-hand man , the controversial Dominic Cummings , revealed this Wednesday that the prime minister went on vacation for two weeks in February 2020, during the advance of the covid crisis, delaying measures that would have saved lives. In an inflammatory appearance before the British Parliament’s Science and Health committee, Cummings accused the Johnson government of “failing disastrously” in the response to the pandemic and has apologized to the families of those who “have died unnecessarily”, victims that evaluated in “tens of thousands”.
The delay of the first lockdown in March last year was repeated in the fall, when the decision to isolate the population was not made by Johnson’s decision until the end of October, a month later than Cummings and a group of scientific experts had. order.
“The truth is that high-level ministers, high-level officials, high-level advisers like me, we were disastrously below the standards that the public is entitled to expect from their government in a crisis like this,” he said the former adviser, abruptly dismissed by Johnson last November .
“I would like to say to all the families of those who died unnecessarily how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made and my own mistakes.” Cummings called for the opening of a legal investigation into the handling of the pandemic and stressed that there are no excuses to delay it.
Lies and lack of preparation
The former adviser stated that “10 Downing Street was not operating on a war footing in February (2020) against the virus in any way.” “A lot of key people were literally skiing in mid-February. It wasn’t until the last week of February that there was really any kind of sense of urgency.”
According to Cummings, Health Minister Matt Hancock should have been fired for a score of reasons, ” including lying to everyone on multiple occasions , meeting after meeting and publicly.” As an example, he recounted how Hancock assured the Cabinet, shortly before Johnson fell ill , that there was no problem with the protective sanitary material. When it was found that this was not true, he blamed one of the directors of public health (NHS) in England.
Hancock also lied when he promised that patients with the virus, before being discharged from the hospital to be re-admitted to nursing homes, would be subjected to a test, something that was not done. The tests were only done “partially and very sporadically, ” Cummings said. They realized the result when the infection “spread like fire.” The problem was due to “the complete testing disaster.”
Inject Covid on television
Johnson did not believe the virus was dangerous, he considered it to be “a scary story . ” He even asked Chris Whitty, the government’s main medical adviser, to inject him with the covid virus live on television to reassure people. The prime minister would end up infected and would end up hospitalized and admitted for a few days in intensive care.
At another time it was discussed that Johnson compared the coronavirus with chickenpox on television, and proposed a plan similar to the so-called “chickenpox parties” , in which children infect each other. Warnings that there could be thousands of deaths deterred him, but in a meeting held on March 9, the strategy was to achieve group immunity , something that the government now denies.
The logic, according to Cummings, was that at that time it was not believed that a vaccine would be possible in 2020 and it was “assumed” that the only option was to obtain that herd immunity in September, after a very pronounced spike in cases, or to stop. January 2021.
Portrait of a chaotic and incapable ‘premier’
The more than seven hours that Cummings’ speech lasted were one blow after another against Boris Johnson. His former adviser confirmed hearing him say that he would rather see ” large piles of corpses ” than order a third lockdown. The picture he painted of the prime minister’s way of working was deplorable.
The management of the health crisis was based on “bad policy, bad decisions, bad planning and bad operational capacity “. Johnson “changes his mind every 10 minutes” and does not mind the “chaos” among his collaborators, because that way he avoids rivals.
Speaking of the reasons why he left his post, he explained that he said that the prime minister’s girlfriend, Carrie Symonds, will change “unethically” the appointment process in the team. But the main reason, he stressed, is that it considers Johnson ” basically disqualified for the position he occupies .”
The former adviser to the prime minister also assured that he tried to create “a structure to try to stop” what he considered “terrible decisions and to carry out others” against Johnson’s wishes, in order to “try to prevent as many as possible from dying. of people”.
The Trump bombings
Regardless of the strategy on the pandemic, Cummings revealed an unusual fact. On the morning of March 12, 2020, when they were discussing the health crisis, “people from the national security service” came forward and informed them that Trump wanted them to join a “Middle East bombing campaign that night.” .
That “completely disturbed” the meetings on coronavirus and quarantine. In one part of the official residence they were talking about bombing Iraq, in another part of isolation measures and “the prime minister’s girlfriend”, meanwhile, “went completely mad” with the stories that the press was telling about her dog.