Cummings launches all-out attack on Johnson, Hancock

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Ex-chief Downing Street adviser Dominic Cummings claimed that thousands of people died needlessly as a result of government mistakes in the handling of the pandemic crisis, reports Asian Lite Newsdesk

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s former top aide Dominic Cummings on Wednesday launched an all-out attack on the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

During a marathon seven-hour evidence session, Cummings claimed that thousands of people died needlessly as a result of government mistakes in the handling of the pandemic crisis.

Cummings said Boris Johnson was “unfit for the job”, claiming he had ignored scientific advice and wrongly delayed lockdowns, the BBC reported.

His most savage criticism was against Matt Hancock, in which he claimed the health secretary should have been fired for “15 to 20” different things. He said he had repeatedly called on Johnson to sack Hancock, calling him “completely incapable of doing the job”.

He also accused Hancock of lying, something denied by the health secretary.

Meanwhile, the Committee chairman Greg Clark told Cummings to provide written evidence to back up his claims about the health secretary, who will be quizzed by the MPs in two weeks’ time.

According to BBC, the former Downing Street insider painted a picture of policy failure, a government that had no useful plan for handling a pandemic.

“The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its government in a crisis like this,” he told MPs.

“I would like to say to all the families of those who died unnecessarily how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made and for my own mistakes at that,” he added.

Cummings, who was forced to resign from the top job at the end of last year after an internal power struggle, said those on the front line of the pandemic were like “lions” being “led by donkeys”.

Meanwhile, Johnson hit back at some of the allegations at Prime Minister’s Questions, insisting that the government’s priority had always been to “save lives”, it was reported.

Hancock on Sunday said he was “increasingly confident” that England is “on track” for the government’s roadmap to exit the coronavirus lockdown.

His remarks came after a study by Public Health England (PHE) showed promising results for the two main vaccines being used to fight the pandemic in Britain.

“I’m increasingly confident we’re on track for the roadmap because this data shows the vaccine after two doses works just as effectively, and we all know that the vaccine is our way out of this,” Hancock told Sky News on Sunday.

According to the PHE study, which took place between April 5 and May 16, the Pfizer vaccine was 88 per cent effective against symptomatic disease from the India-related variant two weeks after the second dose, compared with 93 per cent effectiveness against the variant identified in Kent.

Meanwhile, the AstraZeneca jab was 60 per cent effective, compared with 66 per cent against the Kent variant over the same period.

However, they were only 33 per cent effective three weeks after the first dose, the PHE report said.

The PHE said it expects to see even higher levels of effectiveness against hospital admissions and deaths.

Hancock described the outcome as “groundbreaking,” adding that “getting the second jab is vital”.

From May 17 as part of the government’s lockdown easing plan, pubs, bars and restaurants in England were permitted to open indoors, while indoor entertainment resumed, including cinemas, museums and children’s play areas.

The government’s roadmap is expected to see all legal limits on social contact to be removed on June 21.

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