Politics

Sajid Javid Admits He’s Still Not Read The Bombshell Covid Report

Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

Sajid Javid, health secretary

Sajid Javid admitted on Thursday he had still not read the damning Covid report about the government’s initial handling of the pandemic.

The report, compiled by two separate MP committees and released on Tuesday, called the UK’s response to the start of the pandemic the “worst public health failure ever”.

Javid, the health secretary, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: ”I actually haven’t had the opportunity to study every word of the report.

“I’ve seen at the top lines, I will take a closer look this weekend.”

BBC interviewer Martha Kearney interrupted: “You’ve not read it?”

“Not every word, no I haven’t,” the health secretary replied, “and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that.

“I will look at it properly this weekend, I’ve discussed it with Jeremy Hunt the chair of the select committee who also did the report alongside Greg Clark.

“But it’s important that this work is done, and we will learn lessons, but as I say the most important work is going to be the public health inquiry.”

The 150-page document called Coronavirus: Lessons learned to date is a scathing take on the government’s failure to lockdown the country early enough when Covid first became a problem in Europe towards the beginning of 2020.

The report primarily focuses on the response to the pandemic in England and called the pandemic “the biggest peacetime challenge” for a century.

MPs also suggested that the early problems stemmed from supposed “groupthink” among scientists and ministers which prevented the UK from acting quickly on earlier lockdowns, border control and test and trace.

However the document did acknowledge that the UK has had some achievements throughout the pandemic, such as the vaccine rollout.

The findings have caused a stir through the country especially after cabinet minister Stephen Barclay refused to apologise for the government’s handling of the crisis on the day the report came out.

Tory Party co-chair Oliver Dowden did say sorry for the way the crisis was managed on Wednesday, while Javid followed suit on Thursday.

But when pressed by Kearney over what exactly he was sorry for, Javid stumbled and eventually said: “What I am saying sorry for is the loss that people have suffered and how they have been affected.”

He added that he was not yet in a position to understand the mistakes which were made in the past, but claimed he “welcomes” the report.


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