Dominic Cummings, a former adviser to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, said on May 26 that Johnson had planned to be injected with coronavirus “live on TV … so everyone realises it’s nothing to be frightened of.”
Cummings was speaking as part of UK parliamentary inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic and the government response to it.
He said that, in February, Johnson had regarded COVID-19 as a “scare story.”
He said the “view of various officials inside Number 10 was, if we have the Prime Minister chairing COBRA meetings and he just tells everyone, ’It’s swine flu, don’t worry about it, I’m gonna get Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with coronavirus so everyone realises it’s nothing to be frightened of,’ that would not help serious planning.”
Cummings was referring to Cabinet Office Briefing Room meetings, which are “convened to handle matters of national emergency”, according to the Institute for Government. Prof Chris Whitty is the Chief Medical Officer for England.
Johnson later tested positive for the coronavirus, and spent several days in intensive care.
By May 25, 127,739 people in the UK had died within 28 days of a positive coronavirus test. Credit: Parliament TV via Storyful