Dominic Cummings said the government originally intended to spread the coronavirus into the community in order to build “herd immunity”.
Boris Johnson’s former top advisor said when the disease emerged in early 2020 it was planned to develop resistance in the population in the months leading up to September.
In a series of tweets prior to his appearance before MPs this week, the former top advisor to the prime minister said the policy was only dropped in March last year after warnings that it would lead to a “disaster”.
Home Secretary Priti Patel, however, has denied a claim.
When asked on BBC1’s Andrew Marr Show about the allegation that herd immunity was the policy, Ms. Patel said, “Absolutely not.”
She added: “Our strategy has always been to protect public health, save lives and protect the NHS.
“Absolutely all of the colleagues who were involved in these meetings and discussions and who worked with the senior scientist and senior physicians absolutely realized this from the very difficult discussions we had.
“In a crisis where the government is making very, very difficult decisions, we put public life and the protection of the public at the forefront of all of those decisions.”
But Mr Cummings claims the herd immunity plan was only abandoned in early March after Downing Street was warned that it would lead to a “disaster”.
His most recent intervention comes as he prepares to give testimony on Wednesday to members of the Commons Health and Science Committee investigating the government’s response to the pandemic.
Downing Street is poised for a potentially extremely damaging attack after leaving No. 10 late last year.
In a taste of what to expect, he said there might not have been a need for lockdowns if the country had “had the right preparation and competent people in charge”.
Instead, he said the plan was “herd immunity” in early March last year and that claims to the contrary by Health Secretary Matt Hancock were “bull ****”.
He also sharply attacked the media for accepting the government’s rejections.
“The media on Covid is generally miserable, but even I was surprised by one thing: how many hacks have confirmed Hancock’s line that” herd immunity wasn’t the plan “when” herd immunity by September “was literally the official plan in all documents / Graphs / Meetings’ until it’s thrown away, ”he tweeted
“Yes, the media is often incompetent, but something deeper is at work: Much of SW1 (Westminster zip code) was happy to believe Hancock’s shit that” it isn’t the plan “so they don’t get to grips with the shocking truth Most political hacks believe in the system …
“During the week of March 9th, No10 was made aware by various people that the official plan would lead to a disaster. It was then replaced by Plan B. But how “herd immunity by September” might have been the plan by this week is a fundamental problem throughout the disaster. “
At the time, the government’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance had said that if they tried “very, very hard” to suppress the disease, it would simply recover if the restrictions were lifted.
Instead, he suggested that the goal is to “build some kind of herd immunity” so that more people are resistant to the disease and transmission is reduced.
In his tweets, Mr Cummings said there had been “so much confusion”.
“Obviously they’re“ destructive. ”But if you have to because the alternative is“ hundreds of thousands are suffocating and no NHS for everyone else and the economy is sinking because everyone is hiding in terror ”, then sooner / harder is better for health AND economics, “he said.
“If we had the right preparations and competent people in charge, we would probably have avoided Lockdown 1,” definitely “no need for Lockdown 2 and 3.
“Given that the plan was AWOL / disaster and terrible decisions delayed everything, Lockdown 1 became necessary.”