Ex-advisor Dominic Cummings had described the British Prime Minister as naive and incapable of governing. Now Johnson and his health minister have responded to the criticism.
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has largely evaded serious allegations from his former top advisor Dominic Cummings. “Some of the comments I’ve heard are unrelated to reality,” Johnson said Thursday.
The prime minister said the government had to make “an extremely difficult series of decisions”. Lockdowns with contact and exit restrictions are “very painful, a traumatic experience”. “At all times, we have been guided by a belief in protecting lives, saving lives and making sure the (National Health Service) NHS is not overloaded.”
To blame for many corona deaths?
Johnson also did not want to comment on the serious allegations when visiting a hospital in Colchester, 85 kilometers northeast of London. Cummings had accused the prime minister of incompetence. The government had failed and was to blame for the deaths of tens of thousands of corona victims, he said on Wednesday.
Johnson stressed that it was a matter of focusing on “what really matters”. The people want the government to provide a way out of the pandemic and lead the country out of one of the most difficult phases in its recent history.
British Health Minister Matt Hancock made a similar statement: “These baseless accusations (…) are not true,” said Hancock on Thursday in the House of Commons in London. Every day since the pandemic began, he has wondered what he can do to save lives. “What we have done to tackle the coronavirus pandemic is unprecedented in recent times,” said Hancock. The government will continue to act openly and transparently.
Hancock proud of corona policy
Cummings had accused Hancock of lies and criminal acts in his hearing. For example, the minister failed to procure protective equipment and tried to put the blame on others.
Hancock highlighted the success of the UK vaccination campaign. Almost half of adults have received both doses to date. He is proud of his team in the Ministry of Health, nurses, hospital staff and volunteers. “Britain is up to this challenge. We will make it,” said Hancock. It is important that the people are vaccinated and tested, this is what the government provides. “That is what is important for this country.”
Hancock did not respond directly to allegations by Cummings that the government had sent corona patients back to nursing homes without testing and thus encouraged the spread of the virus. He said many peculiarities of the virus were not yet known, especially at the beginning of the pandemic. The government has followed scientific advice, said Hancock.