WATCH: Cummings Correct About Government’s Covid Strategy Change

Ahead of his committee appearance on Wednesday, Dominic Cummings continued his Twitter tirade over the weekend by slamming the government’s initial lockdown strategy, and accusing Number 10 of lying about its original plans. According to Cummings, Plan A was to reduce the initial peak of the virus to protect the vulnerable whilst allowing the healthy to build up natural herd immunity. Plan B was a total lockdown as “Manhattan Project” style research went into developing vaccines and treatments. The official strategy, Cummings said, was repeatedly explained on TV…

Guido’s had a look back through the footage to check his recollection, and it looks like Cummings is broadly right. From March 5 to 14, Boris, Vallance, and the Behavioural Insights boffin and SAGE advisor Dr. David Halpern all state the original ‘Plan A’ approach. Vallance and Halpern are both explicit: it was, in their view, fair to pursue ‘herd immunity‘ amongst the healthy as the way out of the pandemic. Boris, whilst not using that term specifically, also stresses that (at the time) he wasn’t wasn’t being advised to lock down entirely – only to introduce limited restrictions to prevent an initial overwhelming peak. His view was that the government should strike a balance in policy: beefing up the NHS rather than locking down the population entirely…

Looking back at the briefings, it’s pretty obvious the plans changed halfway through March. Guido, like Cummings, can’t figure out why the government isn’t being straightforward about this given Vallance said herd immunity was desirable on-camera, contrary to Priti Patel’s denial yesterdayThe truth is SAGE were intent on a Swedish-style herd immunity strategy originally, and switched to ‘Plan B’ once they modelled the much higher fatality rate that ‘Plan A’ would entail…

The public, in as much they will pay attention, might rightly sense that even if the government advisers may never have actively wanted people to be infected by the virus, they were sympathetic to a herd immunity strategy and so avoided a hard lockdown where no herd immunity would have built up. The strategy was, in any event, abandoned when modelling projected it would be disastrous.

mdi-tag-outline Coronavirus Coronavirus Inquiry Lockdown
mdi-account-multiple-outline Dominic Cummings Patrick Vallance Priti Patel
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