‘There was a complete lack of leadership’

he Scientific advisor The British Prime Minister during the epidemic, Patrick VallanceHe harshly attacked the UK’s top political leaders in his appearance on Monday Before the Covid committee. During more than five hours of testimony, Vallance reviewed notes from his personal diary, written during the worst months of the pandemic, in which he recorded… ‘Absolute lack of leadership’ to the then Prime Minister, Boris JohnsonAnd the inability of government members to make decisions that would help stop this Deaths escalate infection in the country.


The scientist confirmed that Johnson had done so Difficulties in understanding statistics On numerous occasions he appeared “perplexed”. Highlighting the limited scientific training of the former prime minister, who has a degree in science, Vallance admitted: “Sometimes it was difficult to make sure he understood what a graph or specific piece of information was saying.” Classical Studies at Oxford University. “The Prime Minister wonders whether We have overkilled From this disease. He oscillates between optimism and pessimism… “and remains confused with the different types of tests,” Vallance wrote in his personal remarks, which he presented Monday to the committee.

Wrong decisions

the Constant fluctuations The decision was taken by Johnson and his ministers for several months Cause frustration From scientific advisers, who condemned the lack of clear instructions and the enormous influence exerted by the media, some of which are openly opposed to the lockdowns, on the former Prime Minister. Vallance also criticized the then Minister of Health, Matt HancockWho accused him of making statements without his knowledge. “He definitely said things with a lot of conviction and that surprised me, because I knew that They had no scientific basis“.

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The former government advisor also filed accusations against the current Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak (Minister of Finance at the time), because of his “ideological” position; When advocating for reopening the economy. In one of his personal notes, Vallance collected some statements from Johnson’s then right-hand man, Dominic CummingsIn which he claimed that Sunak believed so “It was fine to let people die.”. The then Minister of Finance promoted the campaign “Eating out, help.”which aims to stimulate the hospitality sector economy through financial assistance to consumers, which, according to Vallance, contributed to the increase in infections in the second half of 2020.


Slow response

The ministers’ response was slow Inevitable effect The scientist explained that in the number of infections and deaths in the United Kingdom, he indicated that decisions had to be made “Faster, stronger and wider”. In one memo seen by the committee on Monday, Vallance described ministers as “tame as rats”. He criticizes his concerns regarding supporting the implementation of new restrictions. Some indicate that the former government advisor has been attributed to “Chaotic” mode. Which she was experiencing at that time.

Vallance’s statements are part of the investigation into the case Independent committee Of the Coronavirus, it was created in mid-2022 with the aim of clarifying what it is Preparation level Medical services in the country in the face of a pandemic with these characteristics, as well as highlighting the processes that were followed in decision-making Correction responsibilities. Several senior government officials at the time, including Hancock and Sunak, have already appeared before the committee chair, Baroness Heather Hallett, who plans to receive statements this week from other scientific advisers and members of the executive committee. The final results of the research will not be published until 2026.

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