UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson's chief adviser insisted that he "made the right judgment" when traveling 400 km from London to Durham at the height of the blockade, using a press conference to tell the country that it has no regrets of your actions.
Dominic Cummings has been the center of a storm of controversy after two newspapers published stories claiming that he had traveled across England with his wife – who was ill and suspected to be symptoms of coronavirus – and his son, spending a week in a home in his parents' farm. He then suffered from the suspicion of COVID-19.
The official council of the UK government, which Cummings helped to write, told those with symptoms of COVID-19 or who shared a house with someone with symptoms, not to leave the house. "Stay at home, protect the NHS, save lives," said the government's motto.
Blocking measures at the time also included warning people not to leave the house for any reason other than exercising once a day or buying food or other essentials. Cummings and his family were spotted at Barnard Castle, a town and a beauty spot about 30 miles from Durham, more than 14 days after he claims to be ill.
Cummings did not apologize for his actions, saying, "I don't regret what I did." There were widespread calls for him to resign or be fired by Boris Johnson, who on Sunday defended his top adviser.
Watch in full: Dominic Cummings full statement and media grid
With millions of people obeying the rules of the blockade and making huge sacrifices, including the lack of final moments with loved ones or their funerals, Cummings faced charges of "one rule for him, another rule for everyone else". There are fears that his actions and the defense of the prime minister have undermined public health messages at the heart of the government's efforts to combat the coronavirus. The UK has the highest death toll in Europe, according to currently available statistics.
At least 20 conservative parliamentarians in power have asked him to step down, along with a crowd of opposition politicians and members of the public.
"I believe that in all circumstances I behaved reasonably and legally, balancing the safety of my family and the extreme situation at number 10, and the public interest in effective government, to which I could contribute," he said in a statement. press release. journalists in the garden of the Prime Minister's house, number 10 Downing Street.
His defense revolved around his concerns that there would be no child care options available in London, should he and his wife become disabled by COVID-19. He said they were "exceptional circumstances" and it was a "complicated and complicated situation" – there were other family members on the farm in Durham who could look after their four-year-old son if necessary.
When asked about the opinion that he should have stayed at his home in London, he said: “I respectfully disagree … I thought and continue to think today about the rules, including those relating to young children in extreme circumstances, which allowed me to exercise my judgment ”.
The government's guidelines at the time contained this stipulation: "If you have children, continue to follow this advice in the best possible way, however, we know that not all of these measures will be possible".
His justification for the visit to Barnard Castle was that he was testing his vision, as he felt that the illness might have affected his ability to complete the journey back from Durham to London. If that were the case, he tested his vision on the 100 km journey with his wife and son in the car. It was also Mary Wakefield's wife's birthday and, according to an article she wrote in 2012, she can direct.