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Former Johnson aide slams UK government over COVID failures


In a brutal attack, Dominic Cummings claimed that the government was slow and chaotic in its initial response to COVID-19, and accused Johnson of failing to learn from early mistakes by resisting a second lockdown in the fall because of the virus. The cases increased.

Johnson, he told lawmakers in testimony on TV, was “ineligible for the job”.

Cummings said, “The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisors like me, are disastrously low in standards, which is what the public has the right to expect from their government in such a crisis.”

“People did not get the treatment they deserved. Many were left to die under terrible circumstances. “

The UK has recorded around 128,000 coronovirus deaths, the highest toll in Europe, and has experienced one of the world’s deepest recessions in 2020 as three consecutive lockdowns hit the economy.

A large-scale vaccination campaign that began in December has steadily reduced infections and deaths, but the government believes that serious questions will have to be answered in future public investigations.

He accused a devastating series of bad decisions and misconceptions within the government in early 2020 that Johnson initially considered the virus to be “just a horror story”.

Cummings claimed, “They called it the new swine flu” and thought of injecting the virus on live TV to allay people’s fears.

He said officers, including Johnson, went on leave in February 2020 and were “literally skiing” as the outbreak escalated.

By March, he said the government was consumed by the chaos that Cummings said “seemed like an out-of-control film.”

It was like a scene from “Independence Day” in which Jeff Goldblum said ‘Aliens are here and your whole plan is broken, “Cummings said.

Johnson eventually implemented a nationwide lockout on March 23, and in April 2020 was hospitalized by the virus in intensive care.

Johnson defended the government’s response on Wednesday, saying, “It has been extremely difficult to deal with an epidemic on this scale.”

“We have tried to reduce the loss of life at every level, save lives, protect (healthcare) and we have followed the best scientific advice,” Johnson said in the House of Commons.

One of the architects of a successful campaign to drive Britain out of the European Union, Cummings was appointed a top advisor on Johnson becoming Prime Minister in 2019. A self-styled political disruptor who wanted to shake the government often expressed contempt. Civil service, politicians and media.

Cummings made headlines in May 2020 when newspapers revealed that he had traveled 250 miles (400 kilometers) across the country after contracting COVID-19 despite an order to remain in the country. His defense – that he was seeking childcare help from relatives in the event of illness – was hollow to many Britons who had sacrificed to follow the rules.

Cummings admitted on Wednesday that he did not tell the whole truth. He said that his real motivation to leave London was the safety of his family, as his London home was under threat.

Cummings quit his job in November amid a power struggle inside the Prime Minister’s Office. Now a staunch critic of his previous employer, he accused the government of sticking with a policy of “herd immunity” – protecting the most vulnerable while allowing the virus to spread to the population – until harsh lockdowns and multiple deaths It was too late to stop. .

He said the government believed – incorrectly, it turned out – that the British public would never accept strict lockdown measures, and that the lock-down would, later on, result in a sharp peak in death.

The government denies that herd immunity was ever its policy through transition.

Cummings also dismissed the government’s failure to close Britain’s borders to keep the virus out, calling the country’s initial lack of testing capacity a “disaster” and saying that patients with COVID-19 hospitals Was discharged from a nursing home, where thousands died.

Without citing evidence, he accused Health Secretary Matt Hancock of lying to the public, stating that he “should have been fired for at least 15, 20 things.” Hancock is scheduled to give his evidence to MPs next month.

Cummings alleged that Johnson refused to heed the advice of scientific advisors to implement the second stay-at-home order in September and also regretted the first lockdown order.

He said Johnson told him, “I should have been the mayor in ‘Jaws’ and kept the beaches open.”

A second national lockout was announced on 31 October and the third January.

The government accused Cummings of underestimating the fact that he was one of the most powerful people in the government when important decisions were taken.

Transportation Secretary Grant Shapps said, “He was there at the time – what would be his motive, I would leave that to others.”

Cummings apologized for not doing more to change the government’s strategy and said that Johnson, with whom he worked for years, was “unfit for the job” of the prime minister.

“It was completely insane that I should have held such a senior position,” he reflected. “It’s completely crackers that someone like me should have been there, just as there was Boris Johnson in the crackers.”

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Follow AP’s Epidemic Coverage:

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-pandemic

https://apnews.com/hub/coronavirus-vaccine

https://apnews.com/UnderstandingtheOutbreak

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