UK PM Johnson dismissed COVID-19 lockdown as solely aged would die, ex-aide says


Dominic Cummings, former particular adviser for Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, arrives at Downing Avenue, in London, Britain, November 13, 2020. REUTERS/Toby Melville

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson was not ready to impose lockdown restrictions to cease the unfold of COVID-19 to save lots of the aged and denied the Nationwide Well being Service could be overwhelmed, his former prime adviser mentioned in an interview aired on Monday (19 July), writes Andrew MacAskill, Reuters.

In his first TV interview since leaving his job final yr, excerpts of which had been launched on Monday, Dominic Cummings (pictured) mentioned Johnson didn’t need to impose a second lockdown within the autumn final yr as a result of “the people who find themselves dying are primarily throughout 80”.

Cummings additionally claimed that Johnson wished to satisfy Queen Elizabeth, 95, regardless of indicators that the virus was spreading in his workplace at the beginning of the pandemic and when the general public had been informed to keep away from all pointless contact, significantly with the aged.

The political adviser, who has accused the federal government of being accountable for 1000’s of avoidable COVID-19 deaths, shared a sequence of messages from October which are allegedly from Johnson to aides. Read more.

In a single message, Cummings mentioned Johnson joked that the aged might “get COVID and dwell longer” as a result of most individuals dying had been previous the common age of life expectancy.

Cummings alleges Johnson messaged him to say: “And I now not purchase all this NHS (Nationwide Well being Service) overwhelmed stuff. Of us I believe we might must recalibrate.”

Reuters couldn’t independently confirm whether or not the messages had been real.

A spokesperson for Johnson mentioned the prime minister had taken “the required motion to guard lives and livelihoods, guided by the most effective scientific recommendation”.

Britain’s opposition Labour Get together mentioned the revelations by Cummings strengthened the case for a public enquiry and had been “additional proof that the prime minister has made the flawed calls repeatedly on the expense of public well being”.

Cummings informed the BBC that Johnson informed officers that he ought to by no means have agreed to the primary lockdown and that he needed to persuade him to not take the danger of assembly the queen.

“I mentioned, what are you doing, and he mentioned, I’ll see the queen and I mentioned, what on earth are you speaking about, after all you possibly can’t go and see the queen,” Cummings mentioned he informed Johnson. “And he mentioned, he principally simply hadn’t thought it by means of.”

Regardless of questioning Johnson’s health for his position as prime minister and castigating the federal government’s combat towards COVID-19, Cummings’ criticism has but to significantly puncture the British chief’s rankings in opinion polls. The complete interview was broadcast on Tuesday (20 July).

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