The former minister admits the UK is taking the “wrong” approach to pandemics

This content was published on Jun 27, 2023 – 16:10


London, June 27 (EFE). Former Conservative Health Secretary Matt Hancock admitted on Tuesday that the UK government had a “completely wrong” approach to pandemics, when testifying before the committee investigating the management of coronavirus.

Hancock, who held that portfolio from July 2018 until his resignation in June 2021, admitted that before SARS-CoV-2, British strategy was focused on the consequences of the health crisis, with approaches such as “if you can buy enough body bags and where the dead will be buried.”

The politician, who has been an independent MP since November 2022 after being suspended from the Conservative Party for participating in a reality show, apologized to the victims of the virus, although he admitted his apology “may be difficult to accept”.

Hancock, a key member of Boris Johnson’s government, was widely criticized during his time in the Health Ministry and when he was forced to leave office after he was caught on security cameras kissing a lover in the office, in breach of anti-coronavirus regulations.

Asked by investigators why he had not changed the UK’s pandemic system if he deemed it inappropriate, he said: “The only answer I can give is because I was told we had the best system in the world.”

“In retrospect, I wish I had taken that short period of time (before the pandemic) to change the whole approach to the response,” he said.

He admitted that while the personal health workers “did everything they could,” the system was flawed.

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Hancock also admitted that the situation in homes for the elderly and disabled, where there were a large number of deaths, “was horrible”.

The public inquiry into the British government’s response to the pandemic, headed by former justice Heather Hallett, began this month with a unit devoted to preparations that were in place, to be followed by others on political decisions or the impact on the health system. It is expected to present its conclusions in 2026, although there will be earlier reports. EFE

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