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Johnson and Sunak were happy to let people die from Covid, inquiry hears

20 Nov 2023 3 minute read
Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak, Image by Leon Neal, PA Images

Boris Johnson wanted to let Covid “rip” despite the fact people would die, while Rishi Sunak also thought that was “okay”, the public inquiry into the pandemic has heard.

In further revelations from Sir Patrick Vallance’s pandemic diaries, the inquiry heard of the “shambolic” day on October 25 2020, when the country was heading towards a second national lockdown.

The diary entry highlights how the former prime minister wanted to let the virus spread, while his most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings (DC), suggested Mr Sunak, then chancellor, also thought it was “okay” to just let people die.

Good innings

The extract read: “PM meeting – begins to argue for letting it all rip. Saying yes there will be more casualties but so be it – ‘they have had a good innings’.

“Not persuaded by (Jon) Edmunds, (Neil) Ferguson, (Jeremy) Farrar. PM says ‘the population just has to behave doesn’t it’.

“Heat maps ‘I have the necrotising maps’ so depressing.

“DC says trajectory will leave us in Nov – much as where we were in 1st week of April.

“Chris quite bullish about being able to take the brakes off more in April…

“Goes on about Gulf War Syndrome again… PM getting very frustrated – throwing papers down.

“PM then back on to ‘most people who die have reached their time anyway’.

“DC arguing we need to save lives – it is not democratically possible to follow another route…

“DC argued again (rightly) that a lockdown’s coming and therefore do it sooner rather than later.

“PM concludes, ‘Looks like we are in a really tough spot, a complete shambles.’

“‘I really don’t want to do another national lockdown’.

“PM told that if he wants to go down this route of letting go, ‘you need to tell people – you need to tell them you are going to allow people to die’…

“Conclusion – beef up the tiers – consider a national lockdown – decide by when.

“DC says ‘Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay’.

“This all feels like a complete lack of leadership.”

Asked about the diary entry, Sir Patrick told the inquiry he was recording what must have been “quite a shambolic day”.

However, the following day’s entry shows Johnson had taken a different view and described the Covid death toll as “terrible”.

The inquiry also heard that Sir Patrick wrote that “we have a weak indecisive PM” and described the right-wing press as “culpable” in decision-making on Covid measures.


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Richard Davies
Richard Davies
5 months ago

The tories should be facing criminal charges of culpable homicide/corporate homicide with the prospect of long prison sentences.

Jeff
Jeff
5 months ago

The new PM, the one we are supposed to listen to, heart of the mess. HSE would have a company in court on serious charges. Conservative cabal will end up lording them and think nothing is wrong. ARTD still a big supporter?

ThebardofTKO
ThebardofTKO
5 months ago

THE PATRICIAN’S SONG We’re born to rule, we claim impunity, No tears please, this is realpolitik, Our policy is herd immunity – A chance to cull the aged and the sick. We’ll let the masses gather in their hordes, To watch their sports events and drink their fill, And while the clueless multitude applauds, We’ll sacrifice the aged and the ill. There’s business to be done, let’s make some cash, Enrich our friends, the proles can pay the bill, Our outgoings are less if we buy trash, To hell with all the doctors, nurses, vulnerable and ill. The experts of… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
5 months ago

Covid provided a great opportunity for the Tories to LET people die. Hardly surprising following their MAKE people die exercise, killing by policy and financial asphyxiation via the benefit cuts of 2011 onwards (2nd round pending) which resulted in many thousands of deaths, which they won’t mention and for which the minister responsible received an insulting and entirely undeserved knighthood. Since all that started, the UK electorate in three elections have given this party a small majority (2015), a non majority largest number (2017) and a thumping majority (2019). Unless we demonstrate at the ballot box that we are not… Read more »

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