Boris Johnson denied the NHS would be overwhelmed and said he was not prepared to lock down the country to save people in their 80s, texting his adviser “get Covid and live longer,” according to new WhatsApp messages released by Dominic Cummings.
Cummings also told the BBC that Johnson had been determined to go to see the Queen in person, despite people in Number 10 already falling ill with Covid in March 2020.
In WhatsApp messages, shared with the BBC, that were sent to aides in mid October, Johnson appears to say:
“I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on Covid fatalities. The median age is 82 – 81 for men 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer. Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4 per cent) and of those virtually all survive.
“And I no longer buy all this NHS overwhelmed stuff. Folks I think we may need to recalibrate.”
Johnson also appears to text aides:
“There are max 3 m in this country aged over 80” and says “it shows we don’t go for nationwide lockdown.”
He said Johnson referred to the Telegraph as “my real boss” and was extremely concerned about the reaction of the right-wing press and the Conservative party.
“He then basically reverted and said, actually the whole thing was a disaster, we should never have done it, I was right in February, we should basically just ignore it and just let the thing [Coronavirus] wash through the country and not destroy the economy and move on,” he said.