COVID-19: Matt Hancock denies mendacity to PM and says ‘you’ll’t reply to a virus by means of pointing hands’


Matt Hancock has denied claims he lied to the top minister over the COVID care houses disaster and stated “you’ll’t reply to a virus by means of pointing hands”.

The well being secretary is being puzzled by means of MPs two weeks after Dominic Cummings, the PM’s former leader aide, claimed he “must were fired for a minimum of 15 to 20 issues together with mendacity”.

Requested if he knowingly lied to the top minister about anything else all the way through the pandemic, Mr Hancock stated: “No.”

Some of the explosive claims Mr Cummings made when giving his committee proof used to be that the well being secretary informed Mr Johnson in March that folks in clinic can be examined ahead of returning again to care houses.

Addressing this allegation, Mr Hancock informed MPs: “We set out a coverage that folks can be examined when exams have been to be had – after which I set about construction the checking out capability so to ship on that.”

The well being secretary added that the federal government adopted the “medical recommendation” all the time, which integrated 3 key issues:

  • The NHS on the time did not have the checking out capability
  • The recommendation on the time that exams on asymptomatic other people may go back a false detrimental
  • As a result of exams have been taking 4 days to show round, sufferers may return into care houses after which later take a look at sure

He added that the “most powerful path” of the virus into care houses used to be via neighborhood transmission, noting estimates recommend 1.6% of the transmission into care houses got here from clinic discharges.

Boris Johnson
Matt Hancock has denied accusations that he lied to the PM

“The problem used to be no longer simply that we did not have the checking out capability, but additionally that the medical recommendation used to be {that a} take a look at on someone who did not have any signs may simply go back a false detrimental and subsequently give false assurance that that individual did not have the illness,” Mr Hancock stated.

“Proper from the beginning we knew that folks residing in care houses have been among essentially the most susceptible and we did all that lets to beef up them.”

And the well being secretary additionally published preliminary calculations in January in response to the Spanish flu pandemic had estimated 820,000 coronavirus deaths would happen in the United Kingdom as a cheap worst-case situation.

Mr Hancock additionally informed MPs “it used to be telling” that Mr Cummings had no longer but submitted any proof to the committee to beef up his allegations.

Previous within the proof consultation, Conservative chairman of the Science and Era Committee Greg Clark stated the committee had no longer gained any written proof from Mr Cummings to again up his claims or any clarification as to why it had no longer been equipped.

Dominic Cummings
Dominic Cummings gave proof to the similar choose committee remaining month

Placing again at Mr Cummings, Mr Hancock stated the Govt “has operated higher prior to now six months” because the PM’s former senior aide left his place in Downing Boulevard.

Some other declare rejected by means of the well being secretary is that there used to be a countrywide non-public protecting apparatus (PPE) scarcity all the way through the pandemic.

He informed the committee that whilst there have been, now and then, “native pressures” with getting PPE, there used to be “by no means a countrywide scarcity” – in spite of the “large call for”.

Mr Hancock additionally disputed that there used to be ever a scarcity of checking out. He informed MPs: “Trying out used to be at no level scaled down, to the contrary, we have been using up checking out capability all through.”

Matt Hancock says the federal government adopted the ‘medical recommendation’ when it got here to discharging clinic sufferers again into care houses

And the well being secretary additionally made transparent in his proof that he is taking “complete accountability” for the choices taken over the past fifteen months, however that he used to be “guided by means of the science”.

“I take complete accountability for the verdict no longer simplest that I take, however which can be taken in my title as secretary of state, around the well being circle of relatives and the NHS, Public Well being England, within the division.

“And I do know the top minister feels very strongly the similar. However after all you might be guided by means of the science,” he stated.

Telling MPs he had attempted to behave with “honesty and integrity” all over coping with the pandemic, Mr Hancock added: “During this I’ve were given away from bed each and every morning with the view and the angle that my process is to do the whole lot I may to save lots of lives and get this nation out of the pandemic.”

In his proof consultation in Would possibly, Mr Cummings labelled Mr Hancock’s goal to achieve 100,000 exams an afternoon by means of the top of April 2020 “extremely silly”, pronouncing it took away the federal government’s center of attention.

Children face a staggered return to school under COVID
Matt Hancock says the top minister supported his 100,000 exams an afternoon goal by means of the top of April 2020.

However hitting again at this accusation, the well being secretary informed the committee the top minister had all the time been in the back of the objective.

“The aim of the objective used to be to galvanise the gadget – it labored,” he stated.

“The top minister used to be completely four-square in the back of me and gave me his complete, whole-hearted beef up in hitting this goal as a result of he, like me, knew we would have liked an intensive build up in checking out.”


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