The absence of Boris Johnson from 5 Cobra Meetings in January and February 2020 was the subject of an in-depth report within the Sunday Times (Insight) on (19th April 2020) by Jonathan Calvert, George Arbuthnott and Jonathan Leake. Other Newspapers and Broadcasters have run the story and the Government took the usual steps of issuing a 2,000 rebuttal of the Sunday Times report.
Despite the extensive news coverage and Government rebuttal I have yet to learn what the Prime Minister felt was so important, or to put it another way, what was more important that the ‘Coronavirus Threat’.
The first missed meeting on the 24th January 2020 was chaired by Matt Hancock, the health secretary and bizarrely he told reporters the risk to the UK public was “low”. Could Matt Hancock have been more wrong?
Where were the ‘Scientific Adviser’s’ we keep hearing about?
Were they even present?
Wasn’t the health secretary told that the Chinese Government had taken the decision to lock down 11 million people in the city of Wuhan and other cities in Hubei in an attempt to quarantine the outbreak of Coronavirus presented?
11 million people Locked down in just Wuhan, never mind the other cities and Matt Hancock thought the risk was ‘Low?’
Many people and I include myself were caught unawares at how fast the Coronavirus spread around the world. The UK Government also appears to have been caught unaware, but they shouldn’t have been. There have been numerous reports presented to the Government warning and highlighting the potential threat of a Coronavirus type virus. Once the Government learnt of the Coronavirus, they should have gathered all their so-called experts and prepared accordingly.
The Cobra meeting of 24th January 2020 chaired by Matt Hancock failed miserably to identify the potential risks to the UK and failed miserably to take precautionary measures to reduce the risk and ‘save lives.
The continually repeated message ‘Stay home, protect the NHS, save lives’ appears to be working, but what if the message had been broadcast earlier? How many lives would, could or should have been saved had the Government acted sooner and more decisively.
For goodness sake on the 16th March 2020 Boris Johnson asked people to avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues. It wasn’t until the 23rd March 2020 that he issued instructions that these types of venues must close.
Did it really take until the 23rd March 2020 before the Prime Minister realised that decisive leadership and action was required?
At what point from the 24th January 2020 when Matt Hancock chaired the first Cobra meeting up until 23rd March 2020 when Boris Johnson addressed the nation did Boris Johnson finally realise that something was seriously wrong?
Where were the ‘Scientific Adviser’s’ during this time and were they actually giving the Prime Minister any advice?
By the 16th March when Boris Johnson asked people to stop frequenting pubs, clubs, theatres and other such social venues the following things had already happened.
14 January – World Health Organisation warns ‘there may have been limited human-to-human transmission of the coronavirus and there is a risk of a possible wider outbreak.’
30 January – World Health Organisation declared the outbreak a Public Health Emergency
5 February – The Diamond Princess cruise ship was in quarantine in Yokohama, Japan
23 February – Italy started to lockdown
11 March – World Health Organisation declared a PANDEMIC
Consider that on the 16th March when Boris Johnson asked people to stop frequenting social venues the World Health Organisation had called the Coronavirus a ‘Pandemic’ and Italy had started to lockdown.
Consider that it took Boris Johnson seven days (7) to from requesting people NOT to frequent social venues to instructing them NOT to.
How many lives were lost because of this seven-day delay?
Perhaps if Boris Johnson hadn’t of missed those first five Cobra meetings, he might have been better informed and been more decisive than he has been.
So, Boris I ask you
‘What was so important that you needed to miss five Cobra Meetings called to discuss the most serious and dangerous threat to the World in living memory?’