Dominic Cummings, former right-hand man of Boris Johnson, criticizes the Prime Minister’s choices on the management of Covid-19: “He put political interest in front of people’s lives and risked infecting even Queen Elizabeth”
The choices of the Government of Boris Johnson about the prevention of Covid-19 have often been discussed. The “Freedom Day” of Monday 19 July, with the Delta variant infections still out of control, is only the latest episode: at the beginning of the pandemic there was the choice not to put restrictions, to aim forherd immunity, and last autumn that of not prolonging preventive measures, “because it was essentially the over 80s who died”.
This latter specification comes from Dominic Cummings, his former adviser, who is no longer on good terms with the Prime Minister after their quarrel last November, which led to a breakup. In a BBC interview, Cummings removed a few pebbles from his shoes, stating that Johnson’s choice not to resort to a second total lockdown it was because the Downing Street tenant no longer believed “the stories about the health service being overwhelmed” by Covid cases.
Blaming the Premier for moving too slowly, his former right-hand man attributes the mistake to having “put personal political interests before people’s lives”. Showing some Whatsapp messages that seem to come from Johnson’s cell phone, Cummings has made public the order to “review” the choices on the lockdown, as “It is very rare that a person under 60 ends up in hospital”.
Even more shocking is another message that reads: “I must say that I was troubled by some data on deaths from Covid. The average age is 81/82 for men and 85 for women. They are given above the average life expectancy. So those with Covid live longer. Rarely does anyone under the age of 60 end up in hospital (only 4%) and virtually everyone survives. And I no longer believe this story of the health service being overwhelmed by cases. Guys, I think decisions need to be reviewed ”.
Cummings also added that he dissuaded Johnson from visiting Queen Elizabeth at the start of the pandemic. With many Downing Street workers infected, there was the risk of making the sovereign ill too, who, for reasons of age, would have risked not making it: “I explained to him that it would be madness to risk infecting her with the Coronavirus. What would he do if she died? He hadn’t even thought about it and only in that moment did he notice it and replied: ‘It’s true, I can’t go there’ ”.
In response to Cummings’ allegations, a Downing Street spokesperson said: “Since the start of the pandemic, the Prime Minister has taken the necessary measures to protect people’s lives, following high-level scientific guidance. His government organized the fastest vaccination campaign in Europe, it saved millions of jobs through the licensing system and prevented the health service from being overwhelmed by placing three different lockdowns. The government is totally focused on coming out of the pandemic with conscience to build a better future ”.