“We need to scare everyone,” former British health secretary Matt Hancock wrote to his colleagues in government in a working letter during the Covid pandemic. The report concerns when and how the public will be informed of the emergence of a new SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus variant in Britain. The ensuing fear and anxiety should have been a catalyst to get Britons to stick to strict coronavirus measures and lockdowns.
The head of the government office at the time, Simon Case, also advises Hancock in this letter that “fear and guilt” is the key to the government’s communication with citizens regarding the pandemic.
They are two of hundreds of thousands of messages between Hancock and his cohorts, sent over the phone chat app WhatsApp, that have just become public. They were reported by The Sunday Telegraph and its editor, Isabelle Oakeshott, who criticized government measures and widespread lockdowns during the Covid pandemic. The repeated message of the leaked news should have been exactly the trigger for fear: We need people to be afraid and follow the regulations.
“Everyone goes crazy with fear.”
“We won’t announce it too much in advance, we’d rather redo everything at once with the new boom,” suggested an adviser at the Department of Health to Hancock.
“The new boom will scare everyone,” Hancock said.
The counselor replied, “Yes, and that is exactly how we are going to effect change in the right behavior.”
Hancock asked, “So when do we release the new boom?”
It happened the next day.
They are text messages from communications that occurred on December 13, 2020. That was five days before the date the government originally planned to relax strict anti-epidemic rules before Christmas. In the end, this did not happen and Christmas also remained under a heavy lockdown.
“We mustn’t look silly.”
A few weeks later, in January 2021, with strict anti-virus measures still in place, Hancock and Case considered how they could “take their communications to the next level”. According to Case, gradual amendments to the rules for combating epidemics would seem “ridiculous”, and here he suggested that they include the “factor of fear and guilt”, which is “necessary” for this communication with citizens.
In other reports, for example, Case states that someone “trustworthy” should tell the public about the state of the epidemic, i.e. “unfortunately not the Prime Minister”. This was Boris Johnson at the time.
Hancock is now defending himself by saying it is “biased and distorted information to serve an anti-government agenda”.
Secretary and Australian reality show
Also, for example, the government commissioner for Northern Ireland, Chris Heaton-Harris, considers the leaked communications to be more of an “insight into Hancock’s psyche”, which may not accurately reflect the true state of development. Labour’s shadow health secretary during the pandemic, Jonathan Ashworth, has stated conciliatoryly that “there are two sides to every story”. However, he understands that people will now be “deeply concerned” by the leaked news.
From his original position in the Ministry of Culture, Hancock found himself in the Ministry of Health by chance under the Prime Minister at the time, Theresa May. No one knew yet that the greatest crisis in peacetime was to come, namely, a global pandemic.
The fact that Hancock was not only during his tenure at the Ministry of Health, to put it mildly, a strange character, is evidenced by many things. During the period of infection, and during the strict measures, when even persons outside the home could not mingle with others, a married minister seduced his secretary in his ministerial office. after video Reported by The Sun newspaper, he had no choice but to resign.
The Hancock case also featured prominently in text communications over the next forty hours. “How bad is that?” he asked his private advisor. “Shit. He wrote about the video in another post. Ultimately, he came to the conclusion that, apart from breaching the two-meter social distancing rule in force at the time, essentially nothing had happened and that an apology to the British public, including a public apology to those Those close to him, i.e. his wife would certainly do the trick. She didn’t.
After launching an investigation last year into whether anti-pandemic measures by the government and the Department of Health were being implemented appropriately and in accordance with the law, Hancock went on to compete for “survival” in the Australian bush as part of an international reality show.
“Alcohol scholar. Twitter lover. Zombieaholic. Hipster-friendly coffee fanatic.”