Former senior adviser to UK prime minister said first COVID-19 plan was a ‘disaster’
Britain’s first plan to fight COVID-19 was a “disaster” and “bad decisions” led the government to impose lockdowns that could have been avoided, former senior adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.
Dominic Cummings, who left Johnson’s staff late last year, made his comments in a series of tweets just days before he testified to parliamentarians on the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Prior to his sudden departure, Cummings had been Johnson’s most influential Brexit adviser and played an important role in his successful election campaign in 2019. He was also the architect of Britain’s campaign to quit the ‘European Union.
Johnson, who imposed three lockdowns during the pandemic, hailed Britain’s vaccination program as a success, but the UK has one of the highest COVID-19 death rates and has suffered a deep economic recession.
“If we had had the right preparations + the right people in charge, we probably would have avoided lockdown1, * certainly * no need for lockdowns 2 and 3,” Cummings wrote on Twitter on Saturday.
“Since the plan was AWOL / disaster + awful decisions delayed everything, lockdown1 became necessary.”
The government said there were lessons to be learned from the pandemic since it was accused of being slow to impose lockdowns.
Cummings is due to appear Wednesday before a joint inquiry by the Lower House of Parliament’s Health and Welfare Committee and the Science and Technology Committee.
Regarding herd immunity, where the virus spreads through the population to increase overall resistance, Cummings wrote on Twitter: “Our original plan was wrong and we changed when we realized it.”
Johnson’s Downing Street office said in a statement that “collective immunity has never been a political goal or part of our coronavirus strategy.”
“Our response has always been focused on saving lives and ensuring that the National Health Service (NHS) is not overwhelmed. We continue to be guided by the latest scientific advice.
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