politics

Dominic Cummings shares ‘2020 lockdown plan’ pic that says ‘who do we NOT save’ hours before explosive grilling


DOMINIC Cummings today shared a foreboding photo of a “2020 lockdown plan” that said “who do we not save?”.

It comes hours before the former Prime Minister’s adviser was due to face an explosive grilling.

Dominic Cummings has shared this image of a whiteboard plan he claims is from last March including point no 6, bottom centre, reading 'who do we not save?'

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Dominic Cummings has shared this image of a whiteboard plan he claims is from last March including point no 6, bottom centre, reading ‘who do we not save?’
Dominic Cummings is set to allege that Boris Johnson said 'Covid was only killing 80-year-olds'

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Dominic Cummings is set to allege that Boris Johnson said ‘Covid was only killing 80-year-olds’Credit: Parliamentlive.tv
Mr Cummings has been tweeting details of what he will talk about later this morning

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Mr Cummings has been tweeting details of what he will talk about later this morning
Mr Cummings arriving at Westminster this morning

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Mr Cummings arriving at Westminster this morningCredit: PA

The picture, which appears to be taken in Boris Johnson’s study, is from March 13 last year, Mr Cummings has claimed.

He wrote: “Plan A ‘our plan’ breaks NHS,>4k p/day dead min.Plan B: lockdown, suppress, crash programs (tests/treatments/vaccines etc), escape 1st AND 2nd wave (squiggly line instead of 1 or 2 peaks)… details later.”

Mr Cummings said the Government’s original plan was for limited intervention, with the hope of achieving herd immunity.

But that was abandoned when it became clear the scale of the death toll that would lead to.


It comes as:


He is giving evidence to members of the Commons Health and Social Care and Science and Technology Committees this morning, looking into the Government’s handling of the pandemic.

In explosive comments he referenced the moment a senior official come into the room where he was working on the whiteboard, and said: “I think we are absolutely f***ed”.

He claimed she warned: “There is no plan [in the Department of Health], we’re in huge trouble. This country is heading for disaster, I think we are going to kill thousands of people.”

The “first sketch” of the board was said to have been drawn up in Mr Johnson’s study on the evening of Friday, March 13, and shown to the PM the following day.

Plan A “breaks” the NHS and results in a daily death toll of more than 4,000, Mr Cummings said.

Plan B was for “lockdown, suppress, crash programs” – the accelerated drive to boost tests, treatments and develop vaccines in order to escape both the first and second waves, he said.

NO 10 BRACED

Summoned to a bombshell Commons evidence session that could run for six hours today, the former No10 adviser vowed to lift the lid on how the PM was too slow to lockdown last March and the Health Sec’s “disastrous” pandemic planning.

The former adviser began by telling MPs that ministers, officials and advisers “fell disastrously short of the standards the public has a right to expect” in a crisis.

He apologised for the mistakes, saying the Government “didn’t act like it (Covid) was the most important thing in February, never mind in January”.

As he started the blistering attack, the former adviser said “lots of key people were literally skiing” in February, with the Government not “on a war footing”.

Mr Cummings told of regrets that he “did not follow up” and “push” on pandemic preparations at the end of January, claiming to only realise they were “hollow” by March.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in response this afternoon: “None of the decisions have been easy, to go into a lockdown is a traumatic thing for a county. We have at every stage tried to minimise loss of life.”


The top aide said in an explosive evidence session today:

  • He should have been sounding the alarm bell on Covid earlier
  • The PM and other top officials were on holiday in February and miss key pandemic prep meetings
  • The PM said Covid was just a “scare story” in February and thought it was “just the new swine flu”
  • Cummings claimed Boris was going to get Chris Whitty to inject him live on telly with Covid to show it was “nothing to be scared of”
  • Health bosses were wrongly told there wouldn’t be a vaccine in 2020
  • Herd immunity WAS a policy until Friday 13 March when it was abandoned, he said
  • There was a group chat with Cummings, the PM and several other key scientists

The former chief aide to the Prime Minister told the Commons committee: “It’s obvious that the western world including Britain just completely failed to see the smoke and to hear the alarm bells in January, there’s no doubt about it.”

Mr Cummings said he had “mounting panic” about the response to coronavirus.

He said he was pushing for the Government to announce that people should stay at home if they had symptoms and households should quarantine on March 11, but he said there was “push back” from others who felt the advice could be delayed for another week.

Mr Cummings claimed the PM was far too slow to lock down and Mark Sedwill, the Cabinet Secretary, was suggesting Boris go on TV as late as March 13 to urge the public to have ‘chicken pox parties’ to spread Covid.

In more bizarre claims he revealed the PM wanted to be injected with Covid to show it wasn’t a big risk.

‘CATASTROPHIC’

He said Mr Johnson told him: “‘I’m going to get Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with coronavirus so everyone realises it’s nothing to be frightened of’.”

Mr Cummings said his ex boss, the PM, thought Covid was “just a scare story, he described it as the new swine flu”, when cases started to rise.

He added the secrecy surrounding the early Sage Covid strategy was “catastrophic” before claiming “testing data was wrong, models were wrong”.

In a damning summary of the situation within Downing Street, he said in mid-March it was like “a scene from Independence Day with Jeff Goldblum saying the aliens are here and your whole plan is broken and you need a new plan”.

The spurned aide also spoke about claims that Whitehall was fixated with the UK getting herd immunity from Covid, saying it was regarded as an “unavoidable fact”, adding he was “baffled No 10 is trying to deny that”.

Mr Cummings being grilled by MPs in the committee

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Mr Cummings being grilled by MPs in the committeeCredit: Parliamentlive.tv
The former adviser began by apologising to the nation for the pandemic response

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The former adviser began by apologising to the nation for the pandemic responseCredit: Parliamentlive.tv

Mr Cummings said the theory was: “You will either have herd immunity by September after single peak or you will have herd immunity by January after a second peak.

“Those are the only two options you have, that was the discussions – isn’t the goal herd immunity, do we want herd immunity?”

However WhatsApp messages from March 2020 reported by Politico showed that, while in charge of No 10, Mr Cummings privately ordered senior Cabinet ministers to deny herd immunity was ever government policy.

It was claimed Mr Cummings would make incendiary claims that Mr Johnson refused to order a second lockdown in September last year because “only 80-year-olds were dying” from the bug.

It is also thought Mr Cummings will say the PM went to see the Queen, then 94, on March 18 despite the known public health risks – something Downing Street denies.

The PM is also said to have called Covid ‘Kung Flu’ in a reference to the virus originating from China, reports the Daily Mail.

Mr Johnson caught Covid in April last year and spent a week in hospital with the virus – including several days in intensive care – and nearly died.

EIGHT THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR AS DOMINIC CUMMINGS APPEARS BEFORE MPS

Did the lockdown come soon enough?

Mr Cummings is known to have advocated tougher lockdown measures, while it has been suggested Boris Johnson didn’t want to lock down too early.

In fresh allegations made by Mr Cummings on Twitter this week, he said that on March 14 last year one of the things being “screamed at” Mr Johnson was that there was “no plan for lockdown” and “our current official plan will kill at least 250k and destroy the NHS”.

Was herd immunity Government policy?

Government ministers have said herd immunity was not a tactic the Government looked to deploy at the outset of the pandemic.

But Mr Cummings claimed that the official pandemic preparation plan had outlined that the strategy was to have one peak of the disease, before reaching herd immunity by September.

He said the policy – to build up resistance in the population by allowing some spread of the disease – was only dropped in March last year after a warning it would lead to a “catastrophe”.

Has the Government been transparent enough?

The PM’s former top aide has claimed “secrecy contributed greatly to the catastrophe” in February and March last year.

Mr Cummings said that “openness to scrutiny would have exposed Government errors weeks earlier than happened” and that public scrutiny of plans would help stop a situation where vaccines do not have an impact on new variants.

“This will hopefully show it’s been taken seriously,” he said. “If not, better learn now that the Gvt has screwed up again than when ‘variant escapes’ news breaks.”

He added: “I can think of no significant element of Covid response that wd not have been improved by discarding secrecy and opening up.”

Was the Government prepared for a pandemic?

Mr Cummings said that plan to tackle coronavirus “was supposed to be ‘world class’, but turned out to be part disaster, part non-existent”.

He said MPs should push for the Government to be more open about preparedness plans for “more dangerous things than Covid… before we find out the hard way they’re as ‘world class’ as the Covid plan”.

What can be learned from the public inquiry?

Mr Cummings has backed the idea of a public inquiry but also expressed fears that it would not get answers.

He said: “If SW1 wanted to ‘learn’ there wd already be a serious exercise under way. The point of the inquiry is the opposite of learning, it is to delay scrutiny, preserve the broken system & distract public from real Qs, leaving the parties & senior civil service essentially untouched”.

Mr Johnson said earlier this month there would be an independent public inquiry with statutory powers into the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Did the Government close the borders soon enough?

As ministers came under recent pressure over an apparent delay in closing the borders as the Indian variant of Covid grew in risk, Mr Cummings described the early policy at airports as a “joke”.

Home Secretary Priti Patel has said she advocated closing the UK’s borders in March last year, but was apparently overruled, as the balance between public health and the economy was weighed up.

One paper considered by Sage in April said there was little justification for closing borders while case numbers were high, with imported infections representing a tiny proportion of cases.

Did the Prime Minister miss key Covid meetings to write a book about Shakespeare?

Mr Johnson did not chair the first five meetings of the Cobra emergency committee relating to coronavirus in January and February 2020, and a Sunday Times report suggested officials fear Mr Cummings will use an appearance before MPs to accuse Mr Johnson of missing the meetings because he was working on a biography of Shakespeare, as he needed the money to fund his divorce from Marina Wheeler, his second wife.

Asked if the Prime Minister had spent time on the book, his official spokesman said: “No, not that I’m aware of.”

The Prime Minister has been “ensuring the public are kept as protected as possible during this global pandemic”, the spokesman added.

How about Mr Cummings’ own involvement?

Since leaving Government in November after a behind-the-scenes power struggle Mr Cummings has become one of the harshest critics of Mr Johnson’s administration.

But questions have also been posed as to why, as the PM’s most powerful adviser who spoke with Mr Johnson’s authority, he did not do more.

MPs may quiz Mr Cummings on how he could both be at the centre of Government but also seemingly be powerless to change course of the response to the pandemic.

A No10 spokesperson did not deny the claims about wanting to be infected with Covid last night and said: “There is a huge task for this government to get on with.

“We are entirely focused on recovering from the pandemic, moving through the roadmap and distributing vaccines while delivering on the public’s priorities.

“Throughout this pandemic, the government’s priority has been to save lives, protect the NHS and support people’s jobs and livelihoods across the United Kingdom.” 

Mr Cummings arrives home in London last month

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Mr Cummings arrives home in London last monthCredit: AFP

 

Grant Shapps thinks Dominic Cummings has ‘probably tweeted most of what he’s going to say already’





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