In a WhatsApp message to advisers last October, Boris Johnson made it crystal clear that he believed the threat from coronavirus was being exaggerated. He said that the average age of death from the virus was above life-expectancy and that the government should “recalibrate.”
On October 15th Johnson wrote:
“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.
There are max 3 m in this country aged over 80. It shows we don’t go for nation wide lockdown.”
The WhatsApp exchanges were presented to the BBC by Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s former chief adviser. He has given an interview to BBC Political Editor Laura Kuenssberg. It will air in full on BBC Two this evening at 7pm.
Johnson is being hammered on broadcast media today. The consensus is that he is someone who doesn’t give a damn about the elderly and was happy to let them die while everyone else carried on as if nothing was happening.
There may be some truth in the accusation. I despise Johnson. His government couldn’t give a shit about seniors. But the central premise of his message is right on.
Median life-expectancy for UK citizens is indeed 82. The average age of a covid fatality is 83. The great majority of hospital cases were senior citizens. So locking down society was tantamount to madness.
The decision to impose lockdown after lockdown has caused a real health epidemic. Nobody disputes that.
Johnson seemingly wanted to recalibrate the government’s response. Did he really? It’s hard to know what to believe these days. But if he did, who talked him down? Who’s really in charge? These are rhetorical questions. I have a fair idea. I’m guessing you do too.
I’d give my left testicle to interview Johnson. I’d give him a fair go. I would press him hard though, on the contents of his WhatsApp messages.
“Prime Minister, you knew that covid was of no real threat to the great majority of the population. You strongly believed that claims of an overwhelmed NHS were exaggerated. Why didn’t you act?”
“Why didn’t you have the courage to declare that everything would be done to give the elderly and the vulnerable the best possible chance against covid when they got it, but that everyone else should carry on as normal?
“Why mandate unnecessary, experimental and highly dangerous jabs? Are you a Nazi? Who got to you Boris? Who changed your mind and how did they do it?”