UK PM Johnson mocks COVID lockdown, says only elderly will die: Former aide

UK PM Johnson mocks COVID lockdown, says only elderly will die: Former aide

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson wasn't prepared to impose lockdown restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to save lots of the elderly and denied the National Health Service would be overwhelmed, his former top adviser said in an interview aired on Monday.

In his first TV interview since leaving his job last year, excerpts of which were released on Monday, Dominic Cummings said Johnson didn't want to impose a second lockdown within the autumn last year because "the people that are dying are essentially everywhere 80".

Cummings also claimed that Johnson wanted to satisfy Queen Elizabeth, 95, despite signs that the virus was spreading in his office at the beginning of the pandemic and when the general public had been told to avoid all unnecessary contact, particularly with the elderly.

The political adviser, who has accused the govt of being liable for thousands of avoidable Covid-19 deaths, shared a series of messages from October that are allegedly from Johnson to aides.

In one message, Cummings said Johnson joked that the elderly could "get Covid and live longer" because most of the people dying were past the typical age of anticipation .

Cummings alleges Johnson messaged him to say: "And I not buy all this NHS (National Health Service) overwhelmed stuff. Folks i feel we may have to recalibrate".

Reuters couldn't independently verify whether the messages were genuine.

A spokesperson for Johnson said the prime minister had taken "the necessary action to guard lives and livelihoods, guided by the simplest scientific advice".

Britain's opposition Labour Party said the revelations by Cummings strengthened the case for a public enquiry and were "further evidence that the prime minister has made the incorrect calls time and again at the expense of public health".

Cummings told the BBC that Johnson told officials that he should never have agreed to the primary lockdown which he had to convince him to not take the danger of meeting the queen.

"I said, what are you doing, and he said, I'm getting to see the queen and that i said, what on earth are you talking about, in fact you cannot go and see the queen", Cummings said he told Johnson. "And he said, he basically just hadn't thought it through".

Despite questioning Johnson's fitness for his role as prime minister and castigating the government's fight against Covid-19, Cummings' criticism has yet to significantly puncture British leader's ratings in opinion polls. the complete interview are going to be broadcast on Tuesday.

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