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Hancock is now deploying the defence previewed in the Observer on Sunday. (See 9.58am.)
He says from the middle of January the DHSC was “trying to effectively raise the alarm”. He says:
We were trying to wake up Whitehall to the scale of the problem and this wasn’t a problem that couldn’t be addressed only from the health department. Non-pharmaceutical interventions cannot be put in place by a health department. A health department can’t shut schools. It should have been grasped and led from the centre of government earlier. And you’ve seen evidence that repeatedly the department and I tried to make this happen.
And we were on occasions blocked, and at other times our concerns were not taken as seriously as they should have been until the very end of February.
Read the original article at The Guardian