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Virus-sceptic Boris Johnson considered injecting himself with Covid, says former aide Cummings

WION Web Team
New Delhi, IndiaEdited By: Bharat SharmaUpdated: May 26, 2021, 06:41 PM IST

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took part in a Christmas quiz last year, while sitting between two colleagues in No 10 (representative image). Photograph:(Reuters)

Story highlights

Boris Johnson was accused of being slow in addressing the significance of the threat from the virus in early 2020 while it made its way from China to the rest of the world

United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson was reportedly so sceptical of the risks posed by COVID-19 that he was willing to inject himself with the virus.

Dominic Cummings, his former top aide told parliament on Wednesday that Johnson simply wasn’t doing enough to limit the spread of the virus when the first wave hit.

He added that most officials in the country were worried that the Johnson administration would not be “constructive” in terms of virus mitigation strategies as the PM chaired emergency “COBR” meetings.

"The view of various officials inside Number 10 was, if we have Prime Minister chairing COBR meetings and he just tells everyone this is swine flu, don't worry about it and I'm going to get (Chief Medical Officer) Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with coronavirus... that would not help," Cummings was quoted as telling lawmakers by news agency Reuters.

It appears that Johnson only understood the severity of coronavirus after contracting it himself, for which he required intensive care in April 2020.

With over 128,000 deaths, the United Kingdom has the world's fifth worst official COVID-19 toll. Boris Johnson was accused of being slow in addressing the significance of the threat from the virus in early 2020 while it made its way from China to the rest of the world.

Dominic Cummings is responsible for strategising the 2016 Brexit campaign, followed by Johnson’s election win in 2019. Cummings was quizzed by British lawmakers on the lessons the country and its administration could learn from COVID-19.

After leaving the government in late 2020, Cummings has referred to the collective failures on the part of British government multiple times. He said that the British health ministry was a “smoking ruin” and claimed that Western governments had failed in responding actively to the crisis. Cummings also added that the UK was highly unprepared for the pandemic.