May 27, 2021
Michael Gove has rejected claims made by Dominic Cummings that his department was “terrifyingly shit” in the early days of the Covid pandemic. 
Michael Gove Denies His Department Was Terrifyingly S*** During Covid
Boris Johnson’s former adviser revealed he made the allegation about the Cabinet Office’s response, whilst working in Downing Street in March 2020.  
Cummings, who made a series of bombshell claims at a Commons committee hearing on Wednesday, read aloud a text he sent to Johnson, urging the prime minister to push ahead with the first lockdown. 
He said it read: “We’ve got big problems coming. The Cabinet Office is terrifyingly shit.” 
Gove, who was giving evidence to MPs on the public administration and constitutional affairs committee on Thursday, said there were “lessons to be learned” from Covid, but stressed he did not accept Cummings’ criticism.
The Cabinet Office, which co-ordinates work across government, is expected to assess risks to the public realm, via the national risk register. 
Tory MP William Wragg, who chairs the committee, asked the minister “do you agree with Mr Cummings’ assessment?”, to which Gove replied: “No.”
The prime minister and his health secretary Matt Hancock, who Cummings said should be sacked, have denied allegations that the pandemic response was botched. 
It comes amid widespread reports that the government failed to provide enough personal protective equipment (PPE) or lockdown soon enough. 
Cummings alleged tens of thousands of people died needlessly and said the government allowed people infected with Covid to be discharged to care homes. 
Hancock who has been left fighting for his career, told the Commons claims he lied were  “unsubstantiated allegations” and “not true”.
Pressed further by other MPs, Gove rejected claims the Cabinet Office failed and appeared to point towards failings at the Department Health and Social Care, run by Hancock. He said: “Individual government departments are there to own the response to particular anticipated risks. 
“So for example, with a pandemic response the Department Health and Social Care would be the lead and for example when it comes to flood risks the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, where I used to work, would be the lead department, and so on.” 
Central to Cummings evidence were claims that the government had no plan for a Coronavirus pandemic, which meant it was slow in locking down in March 2020.
Asked if the UK’s risk register was up to date last March, Gove insisted “of course”. 
He admitted, however, that the government was focused on flu not coronavirus. 
He said: “It is the case there were plans in place to deal with a pandemic. The most likely pandemic that was anticipated was a flu pandemic and plans, as a number people have pointed out, for a flu pandemic, meant that, to take a case in point a part set of stock of PPE had been prepared 
“It was the nature of the coronavirus pandemic, a novel virus, that meant that we had to adjust in order to deal with the new situation. 
“And while of course there are important lessons to be learned and of course there were mistakes made, I would say two things. 
“Other western democracies were also faced with these challenges, also were learning in real time how to deal with them and have also committed as we have to different types of public inquiry so that appropriate lessons can be learned.”  On Wednesday, Cummings said sorry for ministers, officials and advisers “like me” for falling “disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect”.“When the public needed us most the government failed,” he added, apologising to “the families of those who died unnecessarily”.
He later added: “Tens of thousands of people died, who didn’t need to die.” Related...Five Lessons Learned From Dominic Cummings’ Covid TestimonyMatt Hancock Says Dominic Cummings Claim About Him Lying Is 'Not True'The 14 Most Explosive Claims From Dominic Cummings’ Covid Evidence
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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.

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