Boris Johnson (pictured) must put public health first.
Boris Johnson must “put public health first” and remove Dominic Cummings from post – to prevent the scandal undermining test, trace and isolate efforts across the four UK nations.
As police continue an investigation into Mr Cummings’ rule-breaking and a public petition nears one million signatures, Dr Philippa Whitford MP said it is crucial that people follow the rules because the success of test, trace and isolate programmes are dependent on it.
The SNP Health Spokesperson at Westminster urged people to “do the right thing and obey the rules” regardless of Mr Cummings conduct – and called on the UK government to take steps to repair the damage done to the public health advice.
The call comes after warnings from leading public health experts and police, and follows a poll from JL Partners for the Daily Mail, published yesterday, which found two-thirds (65%) say the scandal will make it less likely that people will follow the lockdown rules.
Today the Scottish Government launches its Test and Protect scheme for Scotland, and the UK government is launching a Test and Trace scheme for England.
Commenting, SNP Shadow Health Secretary Dr Philippa Whitford MP said:
“The Dominic Cummings scandal must not be allowed to undermine test, trace and isolate efforts across the UK, especially as it is the ‘Isolation’ of cases and their contacts which is crucial to breaking the chains of infection and avoiding a second wave of COVID19.
“Boris Johnson must put his responsibilities to public health first and remove Mr Cummings from post to protect trust and confidence in the public health guidance and those setting the rules.
“Leading public health experts and police in England have warned that this scandal has severely undermined trust in the rules and those who set them.
“Polling suggests two-thirds believe Mr Cummings’ conduct makes it less likely that people will follow the guidance – and there is anecdotal evidence people are breaching rules because of this.
“Regardless of Mr Cummings’ conduct I urge absolutely everyone, across the four nations of the UK, to do the right thing and obey the advice they are given by contact tracers.
“This is about saving lives and it is essential that people isolate if they have symptoms or if they have been in contact with an infected person.
“The Prime Minister must put public health first, remove Mr Cummings from post, and set out how he will repair the damage that has been done to public trust by this affair.”