Former UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock has rejected claims that he refused to follow advice given to him by medical experts about COVID testing for elderly people returning to care homes.
The Daily Telegraph stated that the UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Sir Chris Whitty advised Hancock in April 2020 that COVID tests should be available for “all going into care homes and segregation whilst awaiting a result.”
Leaked messages have hinted that Hancock said that such a move “muddies the waters” and that tests should be reserved only for those leaving hospitals.
According to the investigation, Hancock said: “Tell me if I’m wrong but I would rather leave it out and just commit to test and isolate ALL going into care from hospital.
“I do not think the community commitment adds anything and it muddies the waters.”
Hancock also reportedly said that care home testing would “get in the way” of his target of 100,000 COVID tests per day.
The messages were leaked by journalist Isabel Oakeshott. Oakeshott is currently working on Hancock’s Pandemic Diaries memoir.
Oakeshott said she felt compelled to release the messages as it could take “many years” before the official COVID inquiry is completed and “we absolutely cannot wait any longer for answers”.
A source close to Hancock informed PA news agency: “Ms. Oakeshott has broken a legal NDA.”
“Her behavior is outrageous.”
“Having not been approached in advance by The Telegraph, we have reviewed the messages overnight.”
“The Telegraph intentionally excluded reference to a meeting with the testing team from the WhatsApp.”
“This is critical,” the source went onto say, “because Matt was supportive of Chris Whitty’s advice, held a meeting on its deliverability, told it wasn’t deliverable, and insisted on testing all those who came from hospitals.”
“The Telegraph have been informed that their headline is wrong, and Matt is considering all options available to him.”
“This major error by Isabel Oakeshott and The Telegraph shows why the proper place for analysis like this is the Inquiry, not a partial, agenda-driven leak of confidential documents.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: AP NEWS
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