Boris Johnson and Dominic Cummings

 

Sir, – C Lynch is “more than a little confused” by the media, particularly the Irish Times’s, shift in attitude toward Dominic Cummings (Letters, May 31st). It’s really not that complicated.

Testifying before a parliamentary committee last week, Mr Cummings said that “senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me fell disastrously short of the standards” required as the pandemic took hold. This was in keeping with the media portrayal as events unfolded, for example on the idea of the UK pursuing “herd immunity”, and was consistent with the outcome.

The UK, with more intensive-care beds per capita than Ireland, and with essentially the healthcare model we currently aspire to, has hitherto almost twice the Irish rate of Covid deaths (1,873 versus 991 per million of population, presently). This warrants scrutiny, which is why Mr Cummings’s testimony is of value. Notably also, unlike most high-profile attendees at the relevant meetings, Mr Cummings will not seek re-election. He can be completely candid, therefore. Perhaps further, the fear of being in contempt of parliament, which can be punished legally, may have contributed to his change of heart.

On the approach of the Johnson government to the pandemic – clearly the substantial issue here – it is not the media outlets that have changed their position. It is Mr Cummings who is now agreeing with them. – Yours, etc,

BRIAN O’BRIEN,

Kinsale,

Co Cork.