On the day that Dominic Cummings returned to London from Durham, after apparently suffering coronavirus symptoms amidst the government’s crisis management of the global pandemic, he (or someone else) somehow found the time to edit a blog post of his from March 2019.
The edit enabled him to say in his press conference yesterday that he had warned ‘last year’ about the possibility of this country being affected by a pandemic.
Faisal Islam, the BBC’s economics correspondent, on Twitter said of Cummings, “he literally told us to read his blog about his warnings on this topic – but the only warning on his blog I can find is re protecting biolabs from attack, not eg wet markets, or a virus with no vaccine or treatments – so what exactly is he asking us to infer here?”
Having checked Cummings’ blog he went on, “Listening to him, he seemed to be saying that there was no way he would have backed herd immunity because he had warned of pandemic threat in particular from coronaviruses [ie with no vaccines and treatments] which would have been impressively prescient, but can’t see it there…”
“I’m genuinely very interested” added Islam, “in what exactly he was warning about – I’ve searched his blog for coronavirus – only 1 thing comes up – that biolab thing. SARS same, MERS, nothing. Please show me the warnings, I want to read them, will link to them here”. Someone then replied:
Then a little later, we get a bit more:
As Islam noted, in fact the reference to coronavirus was inserted at exactly 8:55 pm on April 14 2020, the day Cummings got back to work in Downing Street from Durham.
Considering the PM’s senior adviser returned to work in order to help manage the government’s response to the pandemic he still found the time to rewrite history and present himself as someone with the vision to foresee the future.
Faisal Islam said he was was genuinely interested in how prescient Cummings had been on coronaviruses, and he expected to be impressed. He adds, “Perhaps that writing is elsewhere… I’d be interested in reading it and happy to link to it, if anyone can show it me.”
This morning he tweets a response from Downing Street who admit the post was edited:
Coming between all the other excuses, lies and half-truths in yesterday’s press briefing, this is almost more insidious. It is an attempt to rewrite history to show him in a better light, to deflect criticism of his alleged herd immunity policy. For Cummings, the priority has always been about the messaging, and the message yesterday wasn’t ‘sorry I made a mistake’ it was ‘I can do whatever I like and you can’t stop me’.
But this morning the Twitter storm is blowing just a strongly as ever. He must go soon.