COVID-19: Hancock denies lying after Cummings claims Health Secretary should have been sacked for dishonesty

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COVID-19: Hancock denies lying after Cummings claims Health Secretary should have been sacked for dishonesty


Health Secretary Matt Hancock has denied claims he lied about the COVID pandemic after a scathing attack by Dominic Cummings, saying “we’ve been frank with people.”

m Hancock said, “These allegations that were made yesterday… are serious allegations and I welcome the opportunity to come home to officially declare that these unfounded allegations of honesty are not true.

“I have always been frank with people in public and in private. “

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“The health secretary should have been fired”

One of Mr. Cumshots did the health secretary lie COVID test people before they return to nursing homes.

Responding to this specific allegation, Mr Hancock said, “We have followed clinical advice on the appropriate way forward. “

He added that “a large number of allegations were unfounded”.

Boris Johnson, during a visit to the hospital on Thursday, avoided questioning whether he trusted Mr Hancock.

But he denied Mr Cummings’ claim that thousands of people have died needlessly because of the Prime Minister.

Responding if that was the case, he said: ” No, I do not think so. But of course it’s been a series of incredibly difficult decisions, which we haven’t taken lightly, and you have to recognize, and I hope people understand this, that when you go into a lockdown, it’s a very painful and traumatic thing for people, for people’s mental health, for their lives, their livelihoods, and of course you have to contrast that with the horrors of the pandemic and COVID. ”

Mr Hancock also told the Commons: “We took an open and transparent approach and talked about what we do and don’t know.

“Since last January, I have attended this Assembly more than 60 times. Together with the Prime Minister, we have organized 84 press conferences, I have answered 2,667 contributions to this House and answered questions from colleagues, the media and the public – and we ‘I will maintain this spirit of openness and transparency all along.

“Sometimes what we had to say was not easy. We had to get down to people’s level when it was difficult, when things were going in the wrong direction.

“And we also learned all along. We have applied this learning both to fight this pandemic and to make sure we are as prepared as possible for the future.

“Beyond all that, what matters remains the same: getting vaccinated, getting tested, delivered for our country, beating this disease and saving lives, and that is what matters to the British people. “

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Mr Hancock said clinical advice was followed on care homes

Boris JohnsonThe former right-hand man gave a dazzling account of how the government handled the pandemic, with the PM and Mr Hancock taking most of the flak.

During a more than seven-hour marathon session on Wednesday, Mr Cummings claimed he, the cabinet secretary and other senior officials had continuously called on the health secretary to be sacked for “15 to 20 things” , including lies repeatedly.

Mr. Cummings accused Mr. Hancock of “criminal and disgraceful conduct causing serious harm”.

According to Mr Cummings, among the alleged lies there was a protective shield around nursing homes when in fact people with COVID-19 were being returned to nursing homes without being tested.

Mr Cummings said the Prime Minister “was on the verge” of sacking Mr Hancock in April 2020 “but he fundamentally would not”.

He added that Mr Hancock had taken too long to set up the test and traceability and told the Prime Minister: ‘If we don’t fire the Secretary of State and we don’t put the tests in our hands of someone, we’re going to kill a lot of people. . “

Mr Johnson’s former chief adviser also said he believed Mr Hancock was using government medical advisers Sir Patrick Vallance and Professor Whitty ‘as shields for himself’ so that if things go wrong, he could blame them and say it wasn’t his fault.

Analysis: Government will continue to refute Cummings’ claims unless evidence emerges

By Tamara Cohen, political correspondent

Matt Hancock was fighting the multiple fires started by Dominic Cummings yesterday.

When asked many pointed questions about nursing home deaths, Mr Hancock said screening capacity at the onset of the pandemic was limited and insisted that thousands of inpatients be returned to nursing homes – before COVID testing only required from mid-April – was in accordance with clinical advice.

Cold comfort to those sounding the alarm at the time, to whom government ministers had told there was from the start a “protective ring” around nursing homes and a “protective ring” system. first order ”.

But as to whether he misled No10 about it, as his predecessor Jeremy Hunt pointed out, Mr Cummings’ allegations of yesterday’s lie are only at this stage – allegations not proven.

Unless that evidence emerges, the government is determined to refute it, announce the vaccination program and delay further discussion of what went wrong in next year’s public inquiry.

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