Explosive revelations from Sir Patrick Vallance’s private diaries, disclosed during the ongoing Covid Inquiry, provide a chilling glimpse into the chaotic decision-making process within the UK government during the pandemic. The diaries, spanning critical periods in 2020 and 2021, shed light on shocking statements and actions by key figures.
One of the most disturbing claims involves Chancellor Rishi Sunak allegedly expressing the sentiment that ministers should “just let people die and that’s okay.” Sir Patrick’s diary entries from October 25, 2020, recount a heated discussion where Boris Johnson appeared to advocate for letting the virus spread unchecked, justifying it by stating that people had already had “a good innings.” Dominic Cummings reportedly conveyed Sunak’s callous stance, leading Sir Patrick to lament a “complete lack of leadership.”
The controversy extends to Sunak’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which Sir Patrick asserts likely contributed to increased Covid deaths. The scientist revealed that scientists were kept in the dark about the scheme until its public announcement in August 2020, and he emphasized that the inherent risk of transmission should have been evident to ministers.
The diaries also unveil frustrations within the government, with Sir Patrick expressing dismay at what he describes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s inconsistency and indecisiveness. In September 2020, pressure from right-wing newspapers was reportedly influencing decisions, complicating the already challenging task of implementing effective Covid measures.
Notably, Boris Johnson’s struggles with understanding scientific concepts are documented in the diaries, with Sir Patrick describing instances where the Prime Minister was “bamboozled” by graphs and found it “hard work” to grasp complex information. The diaries underscore the difficulties faced in ensuring effective communication of scientific advice to government leaders.
The entries also reveal Sunak’s purported focus on “handling scientists, not handling the virus,” suggesting a concerning approach to pandemic management. Additionally, tensions within the government, including disagreements over lockdown measures and economic concerns, come to the fore.
Sir Patrick’s diaries portray a government grappling with internal dissent, indecision, and a lack of clear leadership during a critical time in managing the pandemic. The revelations raise questions about the effectiveness of decision-making processes and the extent to which political considerations may have influenced public health strategies.
As the Covid Inquiry unfolds, these revelations provide a sobering glimpse into the challenges faced by those tasked with navigating the complex landscape of the pandemic response.