Government Pledge To Put a "Shield" Around Care Homes Were "Complete Nonsense", Dominic Cummings Claims
Dominic Cummings has claimed commitments to protect care home residents were "complete nonsense" (PA)
Dominic Cummings has blamed Health Secretary Matt Hancock for failing for protect care homes during the pandemic.
The Prime Minister's former adviser has alleged people infected with Covid had been sent from hospital to their care homes without being tested for the virus.
Speaking on Wednesday, Cummings said Hancock had "categorically" told ministers and officials a testing system was in place for people being discharged from hospital, but claimed the pledge turned out to be "complete nonsense".
He said the failure to ensure testing had allowed the virus to "spread like wildfire" among elderly residents.
"Matt Hancock told us in the cabinet room that people were going to be tested before they went back into care homes – what the hell happened?," Cummings claimed.
"The government rhetoric was we put a shield around people in career homes – that was complete nonsense," he added."Quite the opposite of putting a shield around them, we sent people with Covid back to care homes with Covid."
He added: "It was a catastrophic situation – there is no other way to describe it."
Cummings said the situation was made worse because care home staff did not have adequate PPE or testing equipment.
"Like all of these things, it was not deliberate. It was a function of the fact that the system was just completely overwhelmed," he added.
He believed the government had also failed to prepare for plans for shielding.
“There wasn’t any plan for shielding, there wasn’t even a helpline for shielding, there wasn’t any plan for financial incentives, there wasn’t any plan for almost anything in any kind of detail at all,” Cummings said.
The former adviser has already claimed the Health Secretary should "have been fired for at least 15-20 things" during the early stages of the pandemic, accusing him of "criminal, disgraceful behaviour" over his target to reach 100,000 daily Covid tests by the end of April.