UK PM backs official COVID-19 investigation after 100,000 WhatsApp messages were released to newspapers

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has defended an official COVID-19 inquiry as the “right way” to scrutinize the pandemic’s response after former Health Secretary Matt Hancock’s WhatsApp message was published in a British newspaper.

Based on a mountain of more than 100,000 WhatsApp messages, the Daily Telegraph said Wednesday that Britain’s Chief Medical Officer Sir Chris Whitty said in Hancock in April 2020 that everyone entering a care home will be diagnosed with COVID-19. claimed to have advised him to be tested for

Affiliated exchanges suggested from April 14, 2020 that Hancock had rejected the guidance, telling aides that the move would simply “muddy the water” and warn people coming from hospitals, not communities, to Introduced a mandatory inspection only for

Following the report, Hancock, who resigned in June 2021, challenged The Telegraph’s claims, calling them “totally wrong” and saying the message was “spun to fit the anti-lockdown agenda.” I claimed.

The Epoch Times has not seen the text and has not been able to independently verify the claims.

Epoch Times photo
UK Prime Minister Rishi Snack departs Downing Street ahead of the weekly Prime Minister’s Question in the House of Commons in London on March 1, 2023. (Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

“Colossal White Wash”

Hancock happily sent a WhatsApp message to journalist Isabel Oakshott to co-author a book called The Pandemic Diaries.

in a piece Telegraphtitled ‘Matt Hancock’s COVID WhatsApp message had to be released to avoid whitewashing’, Oakshott downloaded the recordings from his phone after he stepped down in June 2021 and reportedly killed various people, including her. I wrote that I shared it with people.

“Suffice it to say that a lot of important material remained,” she said, calling the text “an important historical record for a time when urgent answers were needed.”

Describing the COVID-19 lockdown as an “unmitigated disaster,” Oakshott said he was making the message public because it would take “years” for the official investigation into the pandemic response to be completed. Stated. “

“That’s why I decided to publish this sensational cache of private correspondence, because I absolutely cannot wait any longer for an answer,” she said.

Official inquiry

In a question to the prime minister on Wednesday, Labor leader Sir Kiel Sturmer asked Snack to make sure the official investigation had all the support it needed to “report by the end of the year”. rice field.

Referring to the Telegraph report, he said, “We still don’t know the truth about what happened. There are too many messages, too many unknowns.”

“Families across the country will see this. It would be an insulting and terrifying spectacle for politicians to write books and selectively leak messages portraying them as heroes,” Labor said. Let’s go,” he added.

Sturmer said the UK COVID-19 Inquiry, set up to examine the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact, had cost taxpayers £85m but “still has one minister I have not heard from you,” he said.

Snak argued that an official inquiry was the “right way” to examine the government’s response to the pandemic after Hancock’s message made headlines.

“There’s a process in place for these things, it’s an independent inquiry, it’s got the resources it needs, it’s got the power it needs. It’s about getting the job done,” he said.

“Anti-Lockdown Agenda”

A Hancock spokesman strongly disputed the allegations made in the Telegraph report.

he said: This is completely wrong.

“On April 14, Matt sought advice from the Chief Medical Officer that people entering nursing homes should be tested, which he enthusiastically accepted.

“Later in the day, he convened a steering meeting to conduct nursing home inspections and was advised that it was currently not possible to test everyone entering the nursing home, but he also wanted to do it. accepted.

“Matt concludes that it’s not possible to force testing on everyone entering a care home, so testing of people who leave and enter care homes should be a priority due to the high risk of infection. I attached it.”

The Daily Telegraph’s report omitted a key portion of the WhatsApp message, indicating that “there was a meeting to advise on reachability,” according to the spokesperson.

“By omitting this, the message implies that Matt simply dismissed clinical advice. acted to save the

The spokesperson added that “distorted narratives about this pandemic, spun to fit the anti-lockdown agenda and pushed with partial leaks,” were outrageous.

But The Telegraph’s associate editor, Camilla Tominy, denied that the newspaper had falsified WhatsApp’s message, saying the allegations were “simply untrue”.

She spoke with the BBC and defended Oakshott after the journalist was accused of violating a confidentiality agreement signed while writing Hancock’s memoir.

“I wholeheartedly support Isabelle’s decision. For openness, transparency, and accountability, she felt she was sitting with a vast amount of information that the public had a right to know.”

PA Media contributed to this report.