Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak were happy to let people die from covid, inquiry hears
20.11.2023 - 18:25
Boris Johnson wanted to let Covid “rip” despite the fact people would die, while Rishi Sunak also thought that was “okay”, the public inquiry has heard.
The UK Covid Inquiry heard of the “shambolic” day on October 25 2020, when the country was heading towards a second national lockdown from chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance’s pandemic diaries.
The diary entry highlights how the former prime minister wanted to let the virus spread.
Johnson's most senior adviser, Dominic Cummings (DC), suggested Sunak also thought it was “okay” to just let people die. Sunak was Chancellor at the time.
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’…