Boris Johnson believed that the national test and traceability system was’ like a whistle in the dark ‘and that the UK was on its way to achieving the’ double distinction of being the European country with the most deaths and the biggest economic blow, ”he said Dominic Cummings at the height of the first wave of the pandemic.
The Prime Minister is said to have expressed his views in an email to his closest adviser in April 2020 amid concerns in Downing Street over serious shortcomings in plans for mass testing by the Department of Health and Business social media from Matt Hancock.
Releasing what he said were Johnson’s words, Cummings said the PM said he feared the proposed system to track down Covid cases and stop transmission was like “imaginary Clouseau legions [fictional French detectives] and no plans to hire them ”.
Johnson reportedly complained about “apps not working yet” and “most importantly no idea how to reduce new cases to a manageable level or how long it will take … when [the] UK may have [the] obtained the double distinction of being the European country with the most deaths and the biggest economic blow ”. He concluded: “We MUST overthrow him. “
The email, sent on April 26, 2020, was published Friday by Cummings in a new blog post titled: “More Evidence on How Prime Minister and Hancock’s Negligence Killed People.”
His grim assessment contrasted sharply with the Prime Minister’s public statement the next day that “if this virus was a physical aggressor, an unexpected and invisible aggressor … then this is the time when we together began to fight it on the ground”.
Cummings also revealed that he warned Johnson that the government was ‘carelessly killing’ nursing home residents in the first wave of the pandemic due to the Hancock Department’s failure to organize Covid testing.
Cummings told the Prime Minister on May 3, 2020 via WhatsApp: “these fucking plans should already exist … but I don’t think they do” and that “at the moment I think we are negligently killing the most vulnerable that we are supposed to kill. to be a shield and I’m extremely worried about it ”.
At the time of the warning, there was desperation in nursing homes where more than 2,000 residents in England and Wales were still dying from Covid every week. Care operators warned on May 5 that more than three-quarters of healthcare workers were not being tested despite Hancock’s promise three weeks earlier that there was capacity for all.
“He can’t pretend ‘nobody told me that’,” Cummings said in the blog. The revelations came as Downing Street lent his support to Hancock after he apologized for breaking social distancing guidelines when he kissed a coworker last month.
Days after Cummings’ warning of nursing home deaths, the Guardian signaled the anger of care operators that the testing was “a complete system failure”, even though Hancock had promised testing for all residents treatment from April 28. With caregivers unable to detect who had the virus, deaths of nursing home residents from the virus did not drop below 1,000 until the end of the month.
Care workers responded to the revelations by noting that weeks later Johnson publicly blamed care workers for the deaths, saying “too many care homes haven’t really followed procedures like they could have. “.
“If these messages are correct, it is clear that the Prime Minister was aware of the risk to vulnerable people due to a lack of testing capacity,” said Nadra Ahmed, executive president of the National Care Association, who recalled that it had been impossible to know who had the virus because the tests took more than 10 days in some cases. “The tragedy of this is the potential for lives to be lost needlessly because these issues have not been recognized or rectified. “
According to his blog, Cummings told the Prime Minister on May 7, 2020 that Hancock was “unfit for this job” and that staying in place “killed God knows how much,” although he did not provide any documentary evidence to the support.
He said after returning from an illness with Covid on April 13, the next two weeks of meetings with Hancock left “many people” concluding that during testing in nursing homes, “operational delivery was terrible ”and“ so we were killing people that we claimed to be shielding ”.
“The Prime Minister agreed that Hancock’s failures were a disaster but refused to fire him,” Cummings said.