Hancock: 'It took time to build the testing' for care homes

3/12The Mirror focused on Cummings claims against Boris Johnson and said that the PM is'out of touch and'out of control

The UK's Health Minister is to face questions from British MPs, a day after his handling of the pandemic was fiercely attacked by Dominic Cummings.

Mr Johnson replied: "I have already made my position very clear on that point". "What people want us to get on with is delivering the (reopening) road map and trying, cautiously, to take our country forward through what has been one of the most hard periods that I think anybody can remember", he told reporters on Thursday.

He also hit out at Boris Johnson telling a Parliament Committee that he should never have made Prime Minister and the government response to the pandemic in the United Kingdom was "chaotic" and "ill-prepared".

When pressed if he had told the prime minister and Mr Cummings in March 2020 that patients being discharged would all be tested, Mr Hancock said: "My recollection of events is that I committed to delivering that testing for people going from hospital into care homes when we could do it".

"At every stage, we've been governed by a determination to protect life, to save life".

"You have to remember that we didn't have all of the facts at the time that the decisions were being taken".

The health spokesman for the opposition Labour Party, Jonathan Ashworth, said the government had questions to answer, whether or not Mr Cummings' testimony was true.

He said Mr Hancock should have been sacked on 15 to 20 occasions and Whitehall's top mandarin at the time, Sir Mark Sedwill, had "lost confidence in the Secretary of State's honesty".

US Calls For "Transparent" New Probe Into Origins Of Coronavirus
During that same CNN program, Fauci said of China, "they have not been transparent in the past". U.S. intelligence agencies have not reached their own determination on the cause.

Cummings, who was at the heart of government until he was booted out in November, didn't hold back in his criticisms of his former colleagues during his marathon session in Parliament.

Cummings said Hancock should have been fired over coronavirus failings and "criminal, disgraceful behaviour" on the testing target.

"We worked as hard as we could to protect people who live in care homes", he said at a news conference.

Michael Gove defended his department, the Cabinet Office, after it too was savaged as "terrifyingly shit" by Mr Cummings.

Speaking for the first time since Mr Cummings gave evidence to MPs on Wednesday, Mr Johnson was asked whether it was true, as the former aide claims, said he would rather see "bodies pile high" than order a third lockdown. "Nobody could doubt for one moment that the prime minister was doing anything other than acting with the best of motives with the information and the advice that was available to him".

As officials and ministers across Whitehall responded to Mr Cummings' barrage of criticism, Downing Street was forced to deny his claims about Mr Johnson's fiancée.

One of the most damning allegations from Cummings was that Hancock's statement that the government had thrown a "protective ring around" care homes at the start of the pandemic was nonsense, and that instead people had been sent back from hospital who had contracted the coronavirus. "He told people he wanted to have open discussions where people could challenge policies, but when people did speak up he got rid of them".

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