There’s been a lot of coverage of todays revelations by Dominic Cummings by various news sources who have tried their best to condense a 7hr investigation into 6-10mins. Novara did an excellent program covering many of the points but even that’s almost 1.5hrs long and doesn’t cover everything so we thought it might be helpful to condense all the key points down into an overview for folks who perhaps don’t have the time to sit through all that content..
- Cummings said Boris Johnson is not a fit and proper person to get us through a pandemic.
- In February 2020, Johnson was referring to the pandemic as nothing more than a “scare story” and no more serious than “swine flu”. Cummings claims this is why Johnson missed 5 Cobra meetings.
- According to Cummings, Johnson proposed a stunt where he would get the Chief Medical Officer to inject him with COVID live on TV to try and convince people that there was nothing to worry about.
- Around the same time, Johnson was boasting about how he was happily shaking hands with COVID patients.
- They were also discussing keeping major sports events and pubs open so more people could mix and mingle and help the virus spread through the population.
- Johnson was determined to pursue herd immunity and was angry about being forced into the first lockdown by advisors. In fact, according to Cummings, even by summer 2020, as cases were rising dramatically, he was still ignoring the scientific advisors and pushing to end lockdown.
- At one point, they were discussing something similar to chickenpox parties as a way to encourage less vulnerable kids to get together and allow themselves to get infected in order to quickly progress herd immunity, even if that meant making the older population even more vulnerable. Apparently, a few hundred older folk dying would be a sacrifice worth taking.
- He claims Johnson said “I should have been the Mayor of Jaws and kept the beaches open”
- He also claims Johnson said he’d rather see the “bodies pile up high” than go into a 3rd lockdown.
- Cummings said the government continued pursuing herd immunity until mid March
- The Secretary of State, the Chief Scientific Advisor and the Chief Medical advisor were briefing Laura Kuenssberg, Robert Peston and other “key media people” on what Cummings called the “single peak, herd immunity by September plan” and SAGE were mentioning it on TV.
- The “single peak, herd immunity by September plan” is also on all of the official documents.
- Johnson was determined not to implement a border policy, again, ignoring advisors and choosing to listen to the Daily Telegraph and Tory back benchers.
- Cummings was also scathing about Matt Hancock and said that he was in fact a habitual liar and should have been fired many times over.
- According to Cummings, in summer 2020, Hancock declared that everyone who needed treatment was getting the treatment they required, despite the fact he’d been briefed differently by both the Chief Medical Officer and the Chief Scientific Advisor.
- In mid April 2020, Hancock told the cabinet office that PPE had been sorted. It quickly transpired this was not the case when NHS staff and care workers reported they were running out. Hancock then attempted to shift blame onto Simon Stevens (Chief Executive of NHS England) and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak and suggested they’d blocked approval of supply contracts. However, when the Chief Cabinet Secretary investigated this claim, it was proven to be a lie. The Cabinet Secretary then told Cummings and Boris Johnson that they’d lost all confidence in the Secretary of State’s honesty at cabinet meetings.
- Cummings claims that Hancock also lied when he told the cabinet office that people would be tested for COVID before they would be returned to care homes.
- According to Cummings, he was getting reports from various sources that Hancock was interfering with the test & trace system because he wanted to rig it in a way to show he was hitting targets when he wasn’t.
- Cummings said he repeatedly told Johnson to sack Hancock but other advisors were telling him not to sack him because then they could use Hancock as a fall guy when the inquiry into the governments handling of the pandemic finally came around. Although keeping him in office was likely to result in even more unnecessary deaths, this was acceptable because it gave the government a way to shirk responsibility and blame.
- Cummings also produced an image of a white board in the PM’s office on the 13th March 2020 showing that, among other things, they were talking about the likely collapse of the NHS if they didn’t come up with a proper plan and one of the points under discussion was “who to not save”
Channel 4 took the initiative to interview Dr Richard Horton, the Editor of the Lancet, and Prof. Devi Sridhar, the Chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh this afternoon and this revealed further surprising revelation. Dr Horton reports that during the early months of the pandemic, he had a number of NHS medical staff contacting him and reporting that they were fast running out of PPE, that there was no treatment available and that there was no plan and no preparedness. This, he tells us, was at a time when the government were claiming the complete opposite. Horton adds that Cummings has basically just corroborated what he was being told by health professionals at the time.
Surprisingly, at one point during Cummings’ 7hr stint with committee he decided to make a point about how he felt that the 2019 general election offered two very bad choices – Johnson or Corbyn – and neither, in his opinion, were fit for the job of PM. He implied that Corbyn running the government would have been disastrous in his eyes. We can speculate why he might think that of course, given that Cummings is a hard Brexiteer and the architect of the Leave campaign and Corbyn was offering a 2nd referendum on the final deal. Clearly, Corbyn in government would have presented a risk that Brexit could be abandoned.
Did Cummings take into consideration, at the time, that a Corbyn led government would have immediately implemented a number of socialist policies that would have taken the NHS back into public control and properly funded both the NHS and social care to ensure we had better facilities, more protection, better equipment and more trained staff. Did he consider that a socialist government would have pushed for an early lockdown, controlled the borders and supported people so the could stay home and isolate? Did he give any thought as to how socialist policies would have impacted how we handled the COVID pandemic. Perhaps he did consider it? Perhaps he knew what the consequences would be and didn’t care? Perhaps, his hard Brexit dream was too important for him to risk and perhaps he was prepared to back a bunch of Brexit mad, incompetent, dingbat eugenicists (like him) just so he could continue to pursue that dream?
I believe much of what Cummings has revealed about the Johnson government today is real, especially as some of it has already been corroborated by the editor of the Lancet but, perhaps Cummings is being a little coy and selective about what he’s choosing to reveal… choosing to protect allies for example and perhaps he continues to have his own agenda?
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