Dominic Cummings today followed up his astonishing attack on Boris Johnson by implying that ministers were too slow to shut the UK border during the pandemic.
The former Downing Street aide suggested the scientific consensus that travel bans would not help prevent the spread of coronavirus was flawed.
He tweeted this was a ‘very important issue re learning from the disaster’, in response to a thread pointing at how Vietnam had successfully insulated itself.
Mr Cummings yesterday made clear he was willing to criticise the Government he only recently departed after publishing an explosive statement tearing into the PM.
In a lengthy blog post he accused the PM of trying to block a leak inquiry that implicated a friend of his fiancée, and claimed to have warned that using donors to pay for renovations of the Downing Street flat was ‘possibly illegal’.
‘It is sad to see the PM and his office fall so far below the standards of competence and integrity the country deserves,’ he wrote.
Dominic Cummings today followed up his astonishing attack on Boris Johnson by implying that ministers were too slow to shut the UK border during the pandemic
The devastating intervention came just a month before Mr Cummings is due to give evidence to MPs on May 26 about the Government’s handling of Covid.
Until December, when he left Downing Street following a period of infighting, Mr Cummings was a key figure helping steer Britain’s Covid response.
Critics point to lax restrictions at the border during the first wave when travellers could come to Britain without being tested or undergoing self-isolation.
SAGE papers released last summer reveal that at the height of the first wave ministers were told that shutting the borders had ‘little scientific justification’.
But Mr Cummings today retweeted a post from a ‘superforecaster’ called Michael Story who highlighted research that described such advice as ‘evidence-free’.
Mr Story said: ‘The border belief described here was incredibly powerful and wormed its way around institutions the world over.
‘The pandemic preparedness index ranked you *less* prepared if you had previously closed borders in the event of disease outbreaks.’
The devastating intervention came just a month before Mr Cummings is due to give evidence to MPs on May 26 about the Government’s handling of Covid (pictured appearing before the science and technology committee last month)
The Twitter thread also upheld the approach taken by Vietnam’s Communist Government of sealing itself off, pointing to its comparatively low 35 reported deaths.
Only in June did Priti Patel announce that all international arrivals would have to spend 14 days in quarantine.
Now foreign travel is illegal except in exceptional circumstances and all arrivals must undergo quarantine, with those coming from red list countries forced to self-isolate in government-approved hotels.
Mr Cummings’s appearance before a parliamentary select committee will likely drill down into the decisions taken about the border.
Last month, in an appearance before the Commons science and technology committee, he did not mince his words in his assessment of the UK’s pandemic preparedness, describing the Department for Health as a ‘smoking ruin’.
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