Managing COVID-19 | Boris Johnson denies he is “indecent” and incompetent

(London) British Prime Minister Boris Johnson responded on Thursday to the sensational accusations of inefficiency in the face of the Coronavirus pandemic launched by his former advisor Dominic Cummings the previous day, stressing that he had done everything in his power to save lives.


Pauline Freissart
France Media

The Prime Minister, who visited a hospital in Essex (east) Thursday morning, said he had to take “a series of very difficult decisions” during this health crisis, stressing that “in every step, we were guided by determination. To protect lives.”

“Some of the comments I heard had nothing to do with reality,” he said.

Johnson overwhelming hearing

On Wednesday, during a seven-hour hearing before a parliamentary committee, his former adviser Dominic Cummings attacked the government’s handling of the pandemic that has left nearly 128,000 deaths in the United Kingdom, the most bereaved country in Europe.

British parliamentary photo, via Agence France-Presse

Dominic Cummings, former Special Adviser to Boris Johnson, during his May 26 hearing before a Parliamentary Committee.

Six months after his departure against a backdrop of internal struggles, Dominic Cummings, 49, the mastermind of the victorious Brexit campaign in 2016 and the architect of Boris Johnson’s brilliant victory in the legislative elections in December 2019, was harsh on the prime minister, who was deemed “indecent”. “.

According to him, the conservative leader ignored the advice of the scholars and was slow in estimating the gravity of the situation. Mr Cummings has accused the government in particular of failing to protect nursing home residents from the pandemic by allowing them to return to these facilities after hospitalization without testing for the COVID-19 virus, thus spreading the virus throughout the at-risk population.

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Boris Johnson said: “We did not know, at the beginning of the epidemic, how the virus could be transmitted without symptoms, and this is one of the reasons for our exposure to some of the problems that we saw in nursing homes.”

2022 inquiry

Health Secretary Matt Hancock defended himself at a press conference stating that it was necessary to increase diagnostic capacity before this could be done. “We didn’t have it, we had to build it,” he said, “I remember sticking to the test when we could … Then I abided by my commitment. That’s the normal way of doing things in government.”

For Dominic Cummings, “tens of thousands” of deaths could have been avoided, an allegation that grabbed the daily headlines on Thursday.

After these allegations, the opposition called for a government investigation to be opened in 2022 into managing the epidemic.

During the hearing, Mr. Cummings also accused the Secretary of Health of “lying on numerous occasions, meeting after the meeting,” but also “publicly”. He felt that Mister Hancock was incompetent and should have been “fired”.

These accusations are “false” and “baseless,” and the health minister responded Thursday to questions from the opposition in the House of Commons.

“I’ve always been upfront with people in public and private places,” he said. According to Hancock, the government has taken “an open and transparent approach that explains what we know and what we do not know.”

In terms of health, the UK sees the infection starting to rise again, with more than 3,500 new cases recorded on Thursday. Matt Hancock explained that the variable that was first identified in India represents between half and three quarters of new cases, stressing that the vaccination campaign has so far prevented 13,200 deaths and 39,700 hospitalizations.

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