May 23, 2021
Priti Patel has denied a claim by Dominic Cummings that the government’s original response to the Coronavirus outbreak was to pursue a strategy of “herd immunity”.
Priti Patel Denies Dominic Cummings Herd Immunity Claim
In a series of tweets ahead of his appearance before MPs this week, Boris Johnson’s former top adviser said the policy was only dropped in March last year after a warning it would lead to a “catastrophe”.
Asked on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday morning about the claim that herd immunity had been the policy, Patel said: “Absolutely not.”
The home secretary added: “Our strategy was always about protecting public health, saving lives and protecting the NHS.
“Absolutely all colleagues involved in those meetings and discussions, working with the chief scientist and the chief medical officers, absolutely recognised that from the very difficult discussions that we had.
“At the time of a crisis when government is making very, very tough decisions, difficult decisions, we put public life and protecting the public at the forefront of all those decisions.”
Herd immunity was “never” put forward by the government at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the chief executive of the UK Health Security Agency has also said.
Dr Jenny Harries told Marr: “I can categorically say I have never been in any Government meeting where herd immunity was put forward at that point of the pandemic as a mechanism of control.”
Cummings said that when the disease emerged in early 2020, the plan had been to develop resistance in the population in the months leading up to September.
In a series of tweets he said that it was only abandoned in early March after Downing Street was warned that it would lead to a “catastrophe”.
Cummings’ latest intervention comes as he prepares to give evidence on Wednesday to MPs on the Commons health and science committees who are investigating the government’s response to the pandemic.
Downing Street is braced for a potentially highly damaging onslaught following his acrimonious departure from No.10 at the end of last year.
In a foretaste of what to expect, he said that there may have been no need for any lockdowns if the country had had the “the right preparations and competent people in charge”.
Instead he said that at the beginning of March last year, the plan had been “herd immunity” and that claims to the contrary by health secretary Matt Hancock were “bullshit”.
He also strongly attacked the media for accepting the government’s denials.
“Media generally abysmal on Covid but even I’ve been surprised by one thing: how many hacks have parroted Hancock’s line that ‘herd immunity wasn’t the plan’ when ‘herd immunity by September’ was ‘literally the official plan in all documents/graphs/meetings’ until it was ditched,” he tweeted.
“Yes the media is often incompetent but something deeper is at work: much of SW1 (the Westminster postcode) was happy to believe Hancock’s bullshit that ‘it’s not the plan’ so they didn’t have to face the shocking truth. Most political hacks believe in ‘the system’…
“In week of March 9, No10 was made aware by various people that the official plan would lead to catastrophe. It was then replaced by Plan B. But how ‘herd immunity by September’ could have been the plan until that week is a fundamental issue in the whole disaster.”
At the time, the government’s chief scientific adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, had said that if they tried to suppress the disease “very, very hard” it would simply bounce back when restrictions were released.
Instead he suggested the aim was to “build up some kind of herd immunity” so more people were resistant to the disease and transmission was reduced.
In his tweets, Cummings said there had been “so much lock down confusion”.
“Obviously they’re ‘destructive’. But if you have to do it because alternative is ‘hundreds of thousands choking to death and no NHS for months for everybody else and economy sunk because everybody hiding in terror’ then earlier/harder is better for health AND economy,” he said.
“If we’d had the right preparations and competent people in charge, we would probably have avoided lockdown 1, ‘definitely’ no need for lockdowns 2 and 3.
“Given the plan was AWOL/disaster and awful decisions delayed everything, lockdown 1 became necessary.”Related...Vaccinate Children Over 12 And Boost Isolation Pay, Jeremy Hunt Urges
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Coronavirus Disease

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus.

Most people infected with the COVID-19 virus will experience mild to moderate respiratory illness and recover without requiring special treatment. Older people, and those with underlying medical problems like cardiovascular disease, diabetes, chronic respiratory disease, and cancer are more likely to develop serious illness.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Julia Fox defends viral ‘Uncut Gems’ interview moment: ‘I was stoned’ | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
4m-p0_-ePd8
Alexia Echevarria pushed ‘RHOM’ producers to show more of son Frankie’s recovery | Page Six
February 17, 2022
E-wTaN9NfkI
Pete Davidson rejoins Instagram amid Kanye West drama | Page Six Celebrity News
February 17, 2022
SsC3dmsI6t4
Aaron Rodgers And Shailene Woodley Reportedly Break Up | TMZ LIVE
February 17, 2022
FoErdRE8Qe4
Chet Hanks Done Talking About Famous Parents, Becoming Personal Trainer | TMZ
February 16, 2022
5_UrULOkQ6o
Woman Stabbed at Foot Locker During Nike Shoe Release
February 16, 2022
TfuXMs1JdVg
Steph's Freaky Side, "Summer House" & "Love During Lockup"
February 17, 2022
9W_raO0zlA8
Tay or Nay, Offset's Sushi Anxiety & Nick on Monogamy
February 17, 2022
PauYHpJRA6o
Kim Kardashian & North West TWINNING in Matching Pajamas | E! News
February 17, 2022
b-_Oib6R108
Adam McKay - Hollywood Walk of Fame Ceremony
February 17, 2022
tYtzsHoOZzo
Tom Holland, Mark Wahlberg, and the Cast of 'Uncharted' Talk Most Challenging Stunts
February 15, 2022
d3ksX-SKi8c
Ryan Reynolds and Walker Scobell on ‘The Adam Project’, ‘Deadpool’, and Possible ‘Star Wars’ Role
February 16, 2022
5TxJsbJr9Dk
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
04
May
CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Playoffs
Seattle Sounders - Pumas
04
May
USA: Major League Soccer
FC Cincinnati - Toronto FC
03
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Bournemouth - Nottingham Forest
02
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Brentford
02
May
ENGLAND: Championship
Fulham - Luton
02
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Real Betis
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Bayer Leverkusen - Eintracht Frankfurt
02
May
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Monchengladbach - RB Leipzig
02
May
ITALY: Serie A
Atalanta - Salernitana
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Leicester City
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Mallorca
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Bologna
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Arsenal
01
May
ENGLAND: Premier League
Everton - Chelsea
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Udinese - Inter Milan
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
AC Milan - Fiorentina
01
May
ITALY: Serie A
Juventus - Venezia
01
May
SPAIN: La Liga
Rayo Vallecano - Real Sociedad
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Mainz - Bayern Munich
30
Apr
GERMANY: Bundesliga
Borussia Dortmund - Bochum
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Liverpool
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Athletic Bilbao - Atletico Madrid
30
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
30
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Madrid - Espanyol
30
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Napoli - Sassuolo
28
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Chelsea
27
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Liverpool - Villarreal
27
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Bologna - Inter Milan
26
Apr
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Semifinal
Manchester City - Real Madrid
25
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Sassuolo - Juventus
24
Apr
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Rayo Vallecano
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Lazio - AC Milan
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Everton
24
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - West Ham United
24
Apr
ITALY: Serie A
Empoli - Napoli
23
Apr
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.