Former UK PM Boris Johnson defends COVID record at inquiry

December 8, 2023 | by b1og.net


In a testimony given at Britain’s COVID-19 public inquiry, former U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson admitted that his government underestimated the severity of the COVID-19 crisis. Although he acknowledged mistakes, Johnson emphasized collective failure rather than accepting personal blame. He stated that his government did not receive urgent and immediate information about the virus, and that the panic level was not sufficiently high. Johnson’s testimony comes as part of a three-year investigation aimed at learning lessons from the pandemic. The inquiry’s revelations have the potential to further damage Johnson’s reputation, as former colleagues and advisers have already painted a negative picture of his administration during their testimonies.

Former UK PM Boris Johnson defends COVID record at inquiry

Former UK PM Boris Johnson defends COVID record at inquiry

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Background Information

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is currently facing scrutiny and criticism as he testifies at the public inquiry into the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in the United Kingdom. The inquiry, led by retired Judge Heather Hallett, aims to understand the mistakes made and the lessons learned during the pandemic. Johnson’s testimony is crucial in shedding light on the decision-making process and addressing any failures.


Johnson acknowledges government’s slow response

Johnson has openly admitted that his government was slow to fully comprehend the magnitude of the COVID-19 crisis. When reports of a new virus emerged from China in early 2020, the government underestimated the scale and pace of the challenge. Johnson acknowledged that the panic level within the government was not sufficiently high, indicating a lack of urgency in dealing with the emerging threat.

Hancock raises alarm about early lockdown

Matt Hancock, the former Health Secretary, gave evidence at the inquiry and expressed regret that the government did not implement a lockdown earlier. He stated that thousands of lives could have been saved if the country had been put under lockdown a few weeks earlier than the eventual date of March 23, 2020. This raises questions about the government’s delay in taking decisive action to contain the spread of the virus.

UK’s long and strict lockdown

The United Kingdom implemented one of Europe’s longest and strictest lockdowns in response to the COVID-19 crisis. Unfortunately, the country also faced one of the highest COVID-19 death tolls on the continent, with over 232,000 deaths recorded. The duration and severity of the lockdown measures indicate the seriousness of the situation and the significant impact the virus had on the population.

Government’s collective failure

Johnson emphasized that the government’s response to the pandemic was a collective failure, rather than solely his own. He pointed out that ministers, civil servants, and scientific advisers all played a role in not sounding a loud enough alarm about the virus. This collective failure highlights the need for improved communication and coordination within the government during times of crisis.

Johnson’s lack of attendance at crisis meetings

A concerning revelation during the inquiry is Johnson’s lack of attendance at the government’s five crisis meetings on the new virus in February 2020. Instead, he relied on distilled advice from his science and medicine advisers. This raises questions about the level of engagement and involvement of the Prime Minister in crucial decision-making processes during the early stages of the pandemic.

Criticism of Johnson’s testimony

Johnson faced criticism during his testimony, particularly from inquiry lawyer Hugo Keith. His performance gave the impression of being casual, careless, chaotic, and clueless. Many members of the public found his demeanor and responses to be lacking in seriousness and accountability. This further eroded public trust in his handling of the crisis.


Protests against Johnson

Protests have taken place outside the inquiry venue, with bereaved relatives voicing their dissatisfaction with Johnson’s actions. Protesters held banners and signs criticizing Johnson for his handling of the pandemic. The ethical scandals surrounding Downing Street parties during the lockdown period have also contributed to public outcry against him. These protests reflect the public’s frustration and demand for accountability.

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Public inquiry into COVID-19 response

The public inquiry into the government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis is a significant step towards understanding the mistakes made and learning from them. It aims to provide a transparent and thorough investigation into the decision-making process and hold those responsible accountable. The revelations from the inquiry will shape public opinion and may have long-lasting consequences for Johnson and his government.

Revelations from the inquiry

The ongoing inquiry has revealed several unflattering details about Johnson and his government’s handling of the pandemic. One revelation is that Johnson was “bamboozled” by science, demonstrating a lack of understanding and ability to effectively navigate scientific advice. Additionally, Johnson’s obsession with older people accepting their fate raises questions about his empathy and approach to public health. The inquiry has also shed light on a toxic and macho culture within Johnson’s government, indicating dysfunction and disorganization. Discrepancies in witness testimonies and missing WhatsApp messages from Johnson have further fueled criticism and suspicion.

In conclusion, the public inquiry into the UK government’s response to the COVID-19 crisis has raised significant concerns and criticism regarding Boris Johnson’s leadership and decision-making. While Johnson acknowledges mistakes, his defense falls short of addressing the gravity of the situation. The revelations from the inquiry have tarnished his reputation and further fueled public demand for accountability and transparency. The inquiry’s findings will undoubtedly shape the narrative around Johnson’s COVID-19 record and may have lasting consequences for his political career.

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