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Johnson's passive approach took pandemic out-of-hand in the UK: Former Chief Adviser

Johnsons passive approach took pandemic out-of-hand in the UK: Former Chief Adviser

London: British prime minister Boris Johnson's passive attitude and careless handling of the pandemic led to the unnecessary death of tens of thousands of people, says Johnson's former chief adviser Dominic Cummings, reports Reuters. Johnson was ready to inject the virus himself to prove that it is not harmful, scarring his officials, Cummings alleged while testifying before a parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

Cummings said that Johnson was like a shopping cart that could not be controlled and added that it was "crackers" that someone like him should be prime minister.

Cummings testified that Johnson initially dismissed the virus as a scare story and didn't listen to people's call for policies to contain the virus. There was no plan for the British government to resist the epidemic and initiate lockdown during the early months of 2020, though many officials thought there should be. He repeated an allegation that Johnson had said that he would rather "let the bodies pile high" than imposing a second lockdown. Johnson had earlier denied this. According to him, the West had failed during the crisis, and officials didn't entertain the idea of lockdowns like the Asian countries did. He said that that not imposing a lockdown was one of Johnson's mistake.

Cummins further alleged that Britain was entirely unprepared, and the government had "no plans, brains, urgency and leadership". There had been no data system to deal with the pandemic, understand its spread and not even a plan to bury the bodies. The state was woefully disorganised, dominated by "groupthink", and was run by ministers like Health Secretary Matt Hancock, who deserved to be sacked for lying to both public and the government.

Responding to the criticisms, Johnson said that nobody could accuse him or his government of complacency. But he told lawmakers that he took full responsibility for everything that happened and apologised for what the country's people suffered. He added that the country's rapid vaccination efforts saw success and will pull back its economy gradually.

The country had reported around 1,28,000 death, which is far higher than the official estimate of 20,000, making the UK world's fifth country in the highest death toll chart.

Reuters report noted that the allegations failed to dent Johnson's popularity, but Cumming's testimony might ramp up a public inquiry next year into the response to the pandemic.

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TAGS:#Boris JohnsonUnited Kingdom
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