Sir Chris Whitty to face questions at Covid inquiry
21.11.2023 - 09:27
Sir Chris Whitty will give evidence to the Covid-19 Inquiry later in a highly anticipated appearance.
The chief medical officer, who became one of the most recognisable figures in the country during the pandemic, is expected to face questions all day today (Tuesday) and possibly into tomorrow. His appearance comes a day after former chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance gave evidence at the inquiry.
Sir Patrick, a close colleague who frequently appeared alongside Sir Chris at coronavirus-era press conferences, offered his insights into former prime minister Boris Johnson and ministers’ handling of the pandemic. His diary entries have so far offered extraordinary insights into his view of Mr Johnson, Rishi Sunak and the decisions taken by politicians as the crisis unfolded.
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Lady Hallett’s inquiry heard on Monday that Mr Johnson was 'bamboozled' by the graphs and data presented to him during the pandemic and was sometimes a 'broken' man. The inquiry heard how Mr Johnson sometimes struggled to retain scientific information, was 'clutching at straws' and at one point queried whether Covid was spreading 'because of the great libertarian nation we are'.
Mr Sunak’s Eat Out To Help Out scheme, an initiative launched in August 2020 to kickstart restaurants and eateries post-lockdown, also faced criticism again on Monday. The inquiry has already heard that Sir Chris privately referred to it as 'eat out to help out the virus', and he is likely to face questions about the initiative later.
His former deputy, Sir Jonathan Van-Tam, will give
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