MATT Hancock rejected Chris Whitty’s recommendation to check “all individuals going into care houses” as Britain was hit by the Covid pandemic.
Leaked WhatsApp messages reveal the ex-Well being Secretary at first welcomed the chief medical officer’s suggestion as a “good constructive step”.
However he then modified his thoughts.
He advised officers he solely wished to check individuals coming into care houses from hospital — not these from the broader neighborhood.
In messages leaked to the Day by day Telegraph, Mr Hancock mentioned doing each would “muddy the waters” — asking officers to “inform me if I’m fallacious”.
Mr Whitty gave his recommendation early in April 2020 — a few month into the pandemic.
Mr Hancock launched steering that made testing obligatory for these coming into from hospital.
However steering calling for these coming in from the neighborhood to be examined too was not introudced till August 14.
A complete of 17,678 individuals died of Covid in care houses in England between April 17 and August 13.
Final evening a spokesperson for Mr Hancock mentioned: “The story spun on care houses is totally fallacious. What the messages present is that Mr Hancock pushed for testing of these going into care houses when that testing was out there.”
The WhatsApp messages additionally revealed Mr Hancock and his staff arrange a gaggle chat known as “disaster administration” to cope with the comms fallout after The Solar revealed he had damaged lockdown guidelines and was having an affair together with his aide, Gina Coladangelo.
A spokesperson for Matt Hancock mentioned: “It’s outrageous that this distorted account of the pandemic is being pushed with partial leaks, spun to suit an anti-lockdown agenda, which might have value a whole bunch of 1000’s of lives if adopted.
“What the messages do present is lots of people working exhausting to avoid wasting lives.
“The total paperwork have already all been made out there to the inquiry, which is the right place for an goal evaluation, so true classes might be discovered.
“Those that argue there should not have been a lockdown ignore the truth that half-a-million individuals would have died had we not locked down.
“And for these saying we must always by no means lock down once more, think about if a illness killed half these contaminated, and half the inhabitants have been going to get contaminated – as is occurring proper now with avian flu in birds. If that illness have been in people, in fact we’d need to lock down.
“The story spun on care houses is totally fallacious. What the messages present is that Mr Hancock pushed for testing of these going into care houses when that testing was out there.
“As a substitute of spinning and leaks we’d like the total, complete inquiry, to make sure we’re as nicely ready as we might be for the following pandemic, at any time when it comes.”