British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak reportedly said the government should “just let people die” during the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than imposing a second lockdown, aka regional quarantine.
This was revealed by Patrick Vallance, who gave testimony on Monday (20/11) in an inquiry into the British government’s handling of the crisis.
Valance was the British government’s chief scientific adviser during the pandemic.
He made a note in his diary dated October 25 2020 regarding a meeting involving the then British prime minister, Boris Johnson, and Sunak, who was then finance minister.
The contents of the diary tell how Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s most senior adviser at the time, conveyed to Vallance what he heard at the meeting.
Vallance quotes Cummings as saying in his diary: “Rishi thought just let people die and that was normal. This all really feels like a lack of leadership.”
Sunak’s spokesman said the prime minister would explain his stance when he gives evidence at the inquiry.
Previous evidence suggests that Sunak was branded the “Death Doctor” by one of his scientific advisers as a result of his policies in the summer of 2020, which encouraged Britons to eat out in pubs and restaurants.
Senior officials have repeatedly said the government was unprepared for the pandemic.
More than 220,000 people died in Britain and much of the economy ground to a halt.
The investigation will last until summer 2026. (rd/es)