UK health minister denies claims of lies over virus response

June 11, 2021: Britain’s health minister on Thursday rejected claims by Boris Johnson, an influential former top aide, that he had lied to the prime minister and his colleagues about tackling the corona virus pandemic.

Matt Hancock told MPs that he had tried to adopt a “standard of honesty and integrity” in response to Dominic Cummings’ claim that he had lied about sending hospital patients to care homes and as to whether all virus patients been treated properly.

Asked if he had ever told Johnson something he knew he was a liar, Hancock replied: “No.” He added: “I have said, both privately and publicly, that everyone is treated with the code they need. He added:” I have met the Chief Medical Officer (Chris White) and the Chief Scientific Adviser. Patrick Valence) had trouble checking, it was to no avail that I was advised that people were not getting what they needed.

Cummings gave oral evidence to the same parliamentary committee last month, and was asked to produce documentary evidence of his claims, which he has so far failed to do.

Hancock said it was “telling no evidence has been provided yet”

Cummings’ most effective allegation was that Hancock lied to Johnson about whether he was being tested at the beginning of the pandemic before returning to hospital care. Hancock simply said that patients would be screened according to the resources available.

“We formulated a policy that people would be tested when the tests became available and then I decided to develop the scope of testing so that I would be able to overcome it,” he said. “Staff testing was the most important thing to keep people safe,” he added, citing government estimates that only 1.6 per cent of transmissions in care homes were due to hospital patient returns.

“It was very difficult, every death in the care home weighs on me, and will always be,” he added. “I can look in the mirror every morning, and despite my deep sorrow over the deaths, I know I did it with the right purpose.

Hancock revealed that 91 percent of new cases in the country were now down to the variant, throwing plans for England to fully reopen on June 21 into doubt.

“We’re in a race between the virus and the vaccine,” said Hancock. “We’re watching the hospitalisation data like a hawk.”

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