Boris Johnson warned ‘we’re too s**t to get our act collectively’ in Covid pandemic
Boris Johnson warned that ‘we’re too s**t to get our act collectively’ because the nation battled with the coronavirus pandemic.
Details of the chaos in Downing Street have been revealed within the bombshell diaries of high scientist Sir Patrick Vallance. The former Chief Scientific Adviser preserve a nightly report on the Government’s dealing with of the pandemic.
As he appeared on the Covid Inquiry in the present day, extracts from his notebooks have been made public. The diaries revealed a dark Mr Johnson requested if “we are licked as a species” after getting back from a Battle of Britain memorial occasion, the place he was distressed by seeing folks in masks.
The notice from September 2020 mentioned the PM requested: “Is it because of the great libertarian nation we are that it spreads so much. Maybe we are licked as a species’… ‘We are too s*** to get our act together.’”
UK Covid-19 Inquiry/AFP by way of Gett)
Other entries from Sir Patrick’s diaries embrace a number of examples of Mr Johnson being “bamboozled” or “confused” by science. He informed the Inquiry that the ex-PM wasn’t distinctive amongst world leaders in struggling to know sophisticated ideas nevertheless it was “hard work” to verify he understood.
In January 2020, Sir Patrick recorded that Mr Johnson had mentioned his “gut” informed him that Covid wouldn’t be a giant drawback. He described the then Prime Minister’s view as “PM – ‘My gut tells me this will be fine'”.
Referring to ex-Health Secretary Matt Hancock, it says: “MH – desperate to own and lead.” It additionally reveals Sir Patrick thought Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty was “more cautious”.
Sir Patrick’s notes referred to Sir Chris as a “delayer” within the run as much as the primary lockdown. Asked whether or not there was rigidity between himself and Sir Chris, he mentioned the Chief Medical Officer was frightened concerning the impacts of lockdown on public well being, such psychological well being, loneliness and delays to NHS therapy.
The ex-science chief mentioned he was reprimanded for pushing for folks to cut back contacts by 75% to cease the unfold of the virus on March 16 2020. Sir Chris Wormald, the everlasting secretary to the Department for Health, was “incandescent with rage” at him for making the suggestion in a ministerial assembly, he mentioned.
Sir Patrick mentioned he pushed for imposing lockdown in London earlier as Covid was spreading quickly – one thing that irritated Rishi Sunak, who was Chancellor on the time. He mentioned: “I made that point at the meeting. It was discussed, there was a very clear rejection of that proposal.And certainly, I don’t think the Chancellor looked terribly pleased at that moment.”
When requested why Mr Sunak was not happy, Sir Patrick mentioned: “Well, quite rightly, he’s concerned about the economy and London is very much the engine of the economy.”