U.K. Health Minister Says Former Prime Minister’s Assistant COVID-19 Lies False
UK Health Minister Matt Hancock said on Thursday that the “unsubstantiated allegations” by the former chief assistant to the Prime Minister that he lied to colleagues and the public about the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic were false.
Dominic Cummings, who was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s right-hand man until the end of last year, launched a scathing attack on his former boss and Hancock during seven hours of testimony before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday, claiming their ineptitude had resulted in tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths. .
Johnson, Cummings said, was unfit for his role, while his biggest criticism was reserved for Hancock who he said had repeatedly lied to such an extent that the country’s top official lost confidence in his honesty. Read more
“These allegations which were made yesterday … are serious allegations and I welcome the opportunity … to officially state that these unsubstantiated allegations are not true, and that I have been frank. with people in public and in private everywhere, ”Hancock told parliament.
With nearly 128,000 deaths, the UK has the fifth highest official COVID-19 toll in the world, far higher than the government’s initial worst case estimates of 20,000.
One of Cummings’ most damning allegations was that Hancock’s statement that the government threw a “protective ring” around nursing homes at the start of the pandemic was absurd, and that instead people had been discharged from hospital who had contracted the coronavirus. Read more
The opposition Labor Party says if he had lied he should lose his job.
“I’ve always been frank with people in public and in private,” Hancock said. “Every day since I started working on the response to this pandemic last January, I got up every morning and asked, ‘What should I do to protect life’. That’s the job of a pandemic health secretary.
Lawmakers from the ruling Conservative Party rallied around Hancock, while Jeremy Hunt, co-chair of the committee to which Cummings appeared, said the former aide’s claims should be treated as unproven until evidence is found. are provided to substantiate them.
Hancock is also expected to be questioned by the media at a press conference later.
Johnson told Parliament on Wednesday that no one could credibly accuse him or his government of appeasement, and that the government has always sought to minimize loss of life.
“I think it is (wrong),” Housing Minister Robert Jenrick told BBC radio when asked about Cummings’ claim that tens of thousands of people have died needlessly.
“No one could doubt for a single moment that the Prime Minister was doing anything other than acting with the best motives with the information and advice at his disposal.”
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