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Boris Johnson Says He 'Truly Did Everything' To Stop Covid As UK Marks 100,000 Dead

Rachel Wearmouth
·2-min read

Boris Johnson offered his “deepest condolences” to families who have lost loved ones to Covid and claimed his government did “everything we could” as the UK death toll passed 100,000.

Speaking in Downing Street, flanked by chief medical officer Chris Whitty and NHS chief executive Simon Stevens, the prime minister also hinted the country would “come together” after lockdown for a memorial event.

He said: “I’m sorry to have to tell you that today the number of deaths recorded from Covid in the UK has surpassed 100,000.

“It’s hard to compute the sorrow contained in that grim statistic: the years of life lost, the family gatherings not attended and for so many relatives the missed chance to even say goodbye.”

He went on to say his government “did everything that we could to minimise suffering and minimise loss of life in this country as a result of the pandemic”.

“And I’m deeply sorry for every life lost,” he said. “What I can say is that the government will continue to do everything we can to minimise life lost as we go forward.”

Johnson also pledged the UK will honour frontline NHS and social care staff, many of whom have lost their lives during the crisis.

Boris Johnson leads a virtual press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street. More than 100,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Britain since the pandemic took hold last year
Boris Johnson leads a virtual press conference on the Covid-19 pandemic, inside 10 Downing Street. More than 100,000 people who tested positive for coronavirus have died in Britain since the pandemic took hold last year

He said: “I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who’s lost a loved one: fathers and mothers, brothers and sisters, sons and daughters, and the many grandparents who have been taken.

“To all those who grieve, we make this pledge: that when we come through this crisis we will come together as a nation to remember everyone we lost and to honour the selfless heroism of all those on the front line who gave their lives to save others.”

The PM added he was “deeply sorry”, but his claim that the government “truly did everything we could” is likely to come in for strong criticism.

Professor Neil Ferguson, whose Imperial College London study convinced the PM to back lockdown in March, is among those already openly contradicting Johnson.

Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson speaks at a news conference in London, Britain January 22, 2020, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS
Epidemiologist Neil Ferguson speaks at a news conference in London, Britain January 22, 2020, in this still image taken from video. REUTERS TV via REUTERS

Labour deputy leader...

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