Cummings shares lockdown brainstorm asking 'who do we not save?'

‘Who do we NOT save?’ Dominic Cummings shares ‘Plan B’ Covid strategy scribbled on a whiteboard in Boris Johnson’s study a fortnight before the first lockdown to ‘escape first and second wave’ and stop NHS from collapse

Dominic Cummings today shared a ‘Plan B’ Covid strategy sketched up in the Prime Minister’s study a fortnight before the original March lockdown last year, which came with the chilling question: ‘Who do we not save?’

Boris Johnson’s maverick former chief aide claimed he warned No10’s original plan was heading for catastrophe and could throw the NHS into chaos with up to 4,000 people dying of Covid every day.

In hope of managing the inevitable onslaught, Mr Cummings and other advisers to the PM drew up a tougher plan which introduced the serious prospect of forcing people not to leave their homes to stop the virus spreading – the type of lockdown seen in China had originally been rejected by Downing Street but it began to appear necessary.

Mr Cummings said the scrawled brainstorm on a whiteboard had been drawn up in Boris Johnson’s office on Friday, March 13, 2020, and then shown to the PM the next day. 

The picture shows Cummings and his colleagues warned in mid-March: ‘Our current plan means 4,000 per day dying at peak’.

The country needed a lockdown, it said, because there was no realistic prospect of a vaccine in 2020 and that the NHS could collapse. It called for mass testing and more ventilators for hospitals, floated the idea of an app – presumed to be linked to contact tracing – and making it illegal for people to ignore social distancing. 

Mr Cummings tweeted a picture of the whiteboard before his explosive grilling from MPs over how Downing St handled the pandemic. He captioned the image: ‘First sketch of Plan B, PM study, Fri 13/3 eve – shown PM Sat 14/4: NB. Plan A “our plan” breaks NHS,>4k p/day dead min.Plan B: lockdown, suppress, crash programs (tests/treatments/vaccines etc), escape 1st AND 2nd wave (squiggly line instead of 1 or 2 peaks)… details later’

In today’s select committee meeting, Mr Cummings lifted up the photo of the whiteboard in response to a question from former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt

Mr Cummings tweeted a picture of the whiteboard before his grilling today from MPs over how Downing St handled the pandemic.

He captioned the image: ‘First sketch of Plan B, PM study, Fri 13/3 eve – shown PM Sat 14/4: NB. Plan A “our plan” breaks NHS,>4k p/day dead min.Plan B: lockdown, suppress, crash programs (tests/treatments/vaccines etc), escape 1st AND 2nd wave (squiggly line instead of 1 or 2 peaks)… details later.’ 

In the meeting, Mr Cummings lifted up the photo of the whiteboard in response to a question from former Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, the head of the Commons Health Select Committee.

He said: ‘On the Saturday, we had the official meeting in the morning in the cabinet room. After the official meeting ended, I then got the PM into his study with me, Ben Warner, Marc Warner and the PM’s private secretary for health.

‘We showed him this graph and it has here no mitigation, our plan… here’s an actual plan, which is lockdown.’






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