U.K. PM Rishi Sunak reportedly said ‘just let people die’, COVID inquiry hears

In the ongoing inquiry into Britain’s handling of the COVID-19 crisis, revelations surfaced on Monday, quoting Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s alleged stance of advocating for allowing people to succumb to the virus rather than enforcing a second national lockdown.

This insight was attributed to a meeting on October 25, 2020, between Sunak, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and Dominic Cummings, Johnson’s top advisor at the time.

Chief scientific adviser Patrick Vallance, in a diary entry presented to the investigation, recounted Cummings’ claim that Sunak expressed a willingness to “just let people die,” characterizing the situation as a profound absence of leadership.

Vallance quoted Cummings in his diary as saying: “Rishi thinks just let people die and that’s okay. This all feels like a complete lack of leadership.”

The inquiry, set to span until the summer of 2026, delves into the government’s response to the pandemic that claimed over 220,000 lives in Britain and led to significant economic shutdowns.

Government officials have consistently acknowledged a lack of preparedness for the epidemic, citing a “toxic” and “macho” culture as impeding the health emergency response, according to Reuters.

Despite Sunak’s role as a senior minister, evidence before the investigation challenges his portrayal as a counterbalance to Johnson’s leadership.

Earlier revelations also linked Sunak to the controversial “Eat Out to Help Out” policy, earning him the moniker “Dr. Death” from a government scientific adviser due to its criticized role in spreading the virus during the summer of 2020.

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