Thursday, 17 Jun 2021

Cummings slammed by vaccine expert on plan to 'give volunteers Covid'

Dominic Cummings is slammed by vaccine expert for his plan to ‘give volunteers Covid… and let their families have £1million or whatever’ if they died

  • Dominic Cummings suggested trial where up to 10,000 people were given virus
  • He boasted it would ‘definitely’ have led to vaccine rollout starting in September
  • Vaccine expert has branded the idea so daft that it was worthy of Donald Trump

Dominic Cummings was condemned by a vaccine expert last night for saying people would have been jabbed months earlier if volunteers had been injected with Covid and their families given ‘£1 million or whatever’ if they died.

In a jaw-dropping claim to MPs last week, Mr Cummings suggested scrapping normal vaccine testing safety rules for a ‘human challenge’ trial where up to 10,000 people were directly given the virus.

The former chief adviser to the Prime Minister boasted that would ‘definitely’ have led to the vaccines rollout starting in September – three months before it actually did.

Dominic Cummings was condemned by a vaccine expert last night for saying people would have been jabbed months earlier if volunteers had been injected with Covid and their families given ‘£1 million or whatever’ if they died

But Clive Dix, who until last month was chairman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, branded the idea so daft that it was worthy of Donald Trump and his suggestion last year that people could be injected with disinfectant to kill the virus. 

Mr Dix told The Mail on Sunday last night: ‘As far as I am concerned, this was a Donald Trump bleach moment.’

He condemned the idea as ‘garbage’ and unethical, saying safety was a priority in vaccine trials.

During his marathon evidence session to MPs last week, Mr Cummings claimed the rollout could have begun in September if the UK had taken a different approach.

Clive Dix, who until last month was chairman of the UK Vaccine Taskforce, branded the idea so daft that it was worthy of Donald Trump and his suggestion last year that people could be injected with disinfectant to kill the virus

Stressing this was ‘not my idea’, he claimed that the new-style mRNA vaccines, such as the Pfizer jab, had been created ‘in literally hours’ in January last year. Implying that existing trials were too slow, Mr Cummings said the UK and US governments should have gone to ‘human challenge trials’.

He said: ‘We would pay 5,000 people or 10,000 people to be injected with Covid. If you die, your family will get one million quid or whatever – something like that.’

That way, ‘we could definitely have got vaccines into people’s arms by September’.

Mr Cummings told MPs he couldn’t remember who had come up with the plan but he regretted not pushing it harder.

Asked if the idea had been dropped because of ‘distaste’, Mr Cummings admitted there were ‘issues’ that needed to be sorted but blamed ‘group-think mentality’ for the plan not being explored.

But Mr Dix said he was ‘screaming at the screen’ when Mr Cummings made his suggestions ‘because it was utter garbage’.

‘It puts doubt on everything if there’s something you absolutely know is rubbish,’ he added.

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