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‘Get Covid and live longer’: Boris Johnson said Government should let older people get virus to protect economy
31 October 2023, 13:46 | Updated: 31 October 2023, 13:54
Boris Johnson said that the Government should ‘let old people get Covid’, as he suggested that people who caught the virus would ‘live longer’, the Covid inquiry has heard.
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The text from Mr Johnson reads: “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.”
He continued: “Hardly anyone under-60 goes into hospital and of those virtually all survive. Folks I think we may need to recalibrate.”
Mr Cain replies that it is not yet “politically viable” to justify changing policy.
Mr Johnson replies: “It shows we don’t go for nation wide lockdown”.
Notes read from Sir Patrick Vallance, then-chief scientific adviser, at the Covid inquiry on Tuesday also said that Mr Johnson was "obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life".
A further entry read about Mr Johnson said: “He says his party ‘thinks the whole thing is pathetic and Covid is just nature’s way of dealing with old people – and I am not entirely sure I disagree with them.”
According to the notes from Sir Patrick in December 2020, Mr Johnson went on to ‘agree’ with his MPs that the Government should “let the old people get it [Covid] and protect others”.
Mr Cain told the inquiry that Mr Johnson was worried about the damage on society Covid restrictions was having.
He added that he felt Mr Johnson's thoughts at the time were just noise, before he would go on to take the measures he needed to take.
Dominic Cummings, who was Boris Johnson's former chief adviser, is following Mr Cain in giving evidence.
It comes after Martin Reynolds and Imran Shafi gave evidence to the Covid inquiry on Monday.
Notes from Mr Shafi, the former private secretary to the PM for public services, showed that Mr Johnson allegedly asked why we are destroying the economy for people who will die anyway, the Covid inquiry has heard.
Minutes from a meeting revealed someone said: "Why are we destroying everything for people who will anyway die soon?"
Asked by inquiry counsel Hugo Keith KC who said the words, Mr Shafi replied: "I can't say for sure, I think it was the former prime minister."
While Martin Reynolds, who headed the private office of the Prime Minister during the pandemic, admitted to turning on disappearing Whatsapp messages in a group of senior officials because he ‘may’ have been worried about information being leaked.
Mr Reynolds made headlines after it emerged he arranged a gathering in the No 10 garden on May 20 2020 when leaving home without a reasonable excuse was banned.
Later on in the inquiry Mr Reynolds "apologised unreservedly" to "all the families of all those who suffered" for the bash which earnt him his 'Party Marty' nickname.