Matt Hancock's UK COVID Pandemic Diaries

The former health secretary’s eagerly awaited (sic) book, Pandemic Diaries, details the extraordinary drama, feuds, cock-ups, failures and triumphs of the UK Government’s battle to cope with a once-in-a-century crisis.

The diaries will be serialised exclusively in the Daily Mail from Saturday, with the first extracts available on The Mail+ from 5pm tomorrow.

Mr Hancock has also given an extensive interview to the Mail, in which he talks candidly about his time in the I’m a Celebrity jungle and falling ‘deeply’ in love with former aide Gina Coladangelo. That too will appear on The Mail+ at 5pm tomorrow.

No details are available of how much Hancock is being paid to blame everyone else but himself but, hopefully, we’ll see the amount in a future declaration of income.

As Health Secretary, Matt Hancock was at the forefront of Britain’s battle against the virus, trying to steer the country through the crisis in a world where information was scarce, judgements huge and the roadmap non-existent.

Drawing on a wealth of never-before-seen material, including official records, his notes at the time and communications with all the key players in Britain’s Covid-19 story, this candid account reveals the inner workings of government during a time of national crisis, reflecting on both the successes and the failures.

Recounting the most important decisions in the race to develop a vaccine in record time and to build a nationwide testing capacity from the ground up, Pandemic Diaries provides the definitive account of Britain’s battle to turn the tide against Covid-19. Crucially, it also offers an honest assessment of the lessons we need to learn to be prepared for next time – because there will be a next time.

Thank goodness the UK could depend on Supermatt … :roll_eyes:


Tuesday, Jan 28, 2020

In his characteristically understated way, sitting at the back peeling a tangerine, Chris Whitty quietly informed everyone that in the reasonable worst-case scenario, as many as 820,000 people in the UK may die. The transmission is so high that almost everyone would catch it.

The whole room froze. We are looking at a human catastrophe on a scale not seen here for a century.

I asked what we needed to do to accelerate a vaccine. Professor [Jonathan] Van-Tam said developing a vaccine normally takes five to ten years, but there’s a team in Oxford working on an Ebola project that can easily be switched to the new disease.

‘I want it by Christmas,’ I said.

The man is a typical Tory amoral twonk who is clearly determined to milk his amoral twonkiness for all it’s worth to fund his future amoral twonkiness


As our former Queen may have diplomatically said about the conflicting info in these anecdotes -

“Recollections may vary”

:lying_face: :thinking:

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Here are five key moments from the book, which have been revealed in extracts published by the Daily Mail and Mail+.

  1. Hancock claims coronavirus was brought into care homes by staff

In the upcoming book, Hancock defends his handling of the care home crisis during the pandemic – the decision to release care home residents from hospital without testing – by claiming that the virus was introduced into the homes by care staff.

In the entry dated 13 March 2020, Hancock claims that Simon Stevens, NHS England’s chief executive, said that frail elderly patients who did not need urgent treatment could be discharged from hospital, either to their own homes or to care homes.

In a subsequent entry dated 14 May 2020 Hancock says that people “blame us for discharging elderly people from hospital into residential settings without testing them properly”, but claims that this is false.

Rather, Hancock claims there was “scandalous behaviour” by some care home operators who were using staff who had tested positive for coronavirus, saying there were at least 40 care homes where this was happening.

  1. Hancock says ministers were told Covid could kill 820,000 in the UK

Hancock also claims that Chris Whitty, the chief medical officer, warned two months before the country was put into lockdown that the virus could kill as many as 820,000 people across the UK. According to Hancock, Conservative ministers responded with a “shrug shrug”.

  1. Boris Johnson did not initially think coronavirus would be a serious disease

Hancock claims Boris Johnson was reluctant to take the issue of a pandemic seriously when he first raised the issue of the outbreak in Wuhan. The former health secretary notes that Johnson’s response to him was: “You keep an eye on it. It will probably go away.”

  1. Dominic Cummings viewed the pandemic as a ‘distraction’

Hancock claims that Johnson’s former chief adviser Dominic Cummings viewed the pandemic as a “distraction” from other topics, including the UK’s exit from the EU.

  1. Hancock says he broke coronavirus rules because he ‘fell in love’

Hancock said that he fell in love with Gina Coladangelo, a friend from university, after she started working for him.

He added that he wanted forgiveness from the public for breaking the rules, rather than seeking it over his handling of the pandemic.

I still don’t believe his story about others being responsible for the care home disaster - the eventual COVID inquiry report may be more revealing Hancock’s role.

Matt Hancock condemned for ‘deluded’ recount of care homes during pandemic

Matt Hancock’s memories of how he handled care homes during the Covid pandemic has been condemned as a “deluded version” of events.

Nadra Ahmed, the chair of the National Care Association which represents small and medium care home providers, said:

“Sadly, the account peddled by Matt Hancock bears no resemblance to the facts. Those of us who lived through some of the most harrowing times in the history of social care can only see this as a deluded version. He had no awareness of social care and its value then and this demonstrates he has learnt nothing since. The sector was crying out for support which fell on deaf ears repeatedly. We knew that testing and vaccinations were the key to containing the infection and both took their time to reach social care and the ‘free’ PPE which was lauded as support some providers found to be faulty. At a time when he should be acknowledging the critical role of social care and its workforce he has chosen to condemn us once more to justify his own considerable failings and for his own financial benefit. It feels like we lived in parallel universes.”

Is SuperMatt more machine than man … :017:

More like Matt Hancock`s UK COVID Pandemic Diarrhoea.

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The Daily Mail reported the company was not PPE Medpro, which has been linked to Baroness Mone and won government contracts worth more than £200m.

In his book, Pandemic Diaries, which is being serialised in the Mail, Mr Hancock claimed the Glasgow-born businesswoman had demanded his “urgent help” with a company, which he has not named.

On 18 June 2021, he wrote: “Baroness Michelle Mone has sent me an extraordinarily aggressive email complaining that a company she’s helping isn’t getting the multi-million-pound contracts it deserves. She claims the firm, which makes lateral flow test kits, ‘has had a dreadful time’ trying to cut through red tape and demanded my ‘urgent help’ before it all comes out in the media. ‘I am going to blow this all wide open,’ she threatened.’ By the end of the message, she seemed to have worked herself into a complete frenzy and was throwing around wild accusations. ‘I smell a rat here. It is more than the usual red tape, incompetence and bureaucracy. That’s expected! I believe there is corruption here at the highest levels’,” he said.

He added: “She concluded by urging me to intervene ‘to prevent the next bombshell being dropped on the government’. I read the message again, stunned. Was she threatening me? It certainly looked that way.”

He said he chose not to reply to the email, adding: “I won’t be pushed around by aggressive peers representing commercial clients.”

SuperMatt stands his ground against Michelle Mone (5’9" tall (6’ in killer heels)) … :man_superhero:

Nevertheless, is the pot calling the kettle black … :thinking:

Hancock’s pulling power looks on the wane as his Pandemic Diaries: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle Against Covid fell out of the Neilsen book charts top 1,000.

Released in time for Christmas, official sales figures show it sold 3,304 copies in the first week and a lowly 600 in the second.

I wonder if Hancock’s advance was recouped by the publisher … :thinking: