Boris Johnson: ‘Things could have been done differently’ in early months of pandemic
Boris Johnson has conceded there were “things we could have done differently” over Covid-19, and admitted the government did not understand the virus in the “first few weeks and months”.
In a sometimes combative interview with the BBC, the prime minister repeatedly refused to discuss any lessons that could be learned before a possible second wave of Covid-19 this winter, saying it was not the moment to “run a kind of inquiry into what happened in the past”.
But Johnson admitted there were “very open questions” about whether the lockdown had started too late. Recollecting that period, Johnson said “the single thing that we didn’t see at the beginning” was the extent to which coronavirus could be transmitted asymptomatically between people, meaning it had spread further than believed in the UK before the lockdown was imposed.
Several of the government’s own scientific advisers have said the lockdown came too late. Prof John Edmunds, a member of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), said in June the decision “cost a lot of lives”.
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