Twitter bursts with memes as Dominic Cummings provides evidence to MPs on Government Covid-19 effort
Social media is awash this afternoon with thousands of memes that mock Dominic Cummings, who today gave bombshell evidence on the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Mr Cummings, 49, was providing a long-awaited report to a cross committee of MPs on the Government’s response to the first months of coronavirus pandemic.
But while the former special advisor to the Prime Minister was addressing MPs, social media users were busy crafting memes and jokes in the wake of his evidence.
Mr Cummings came under fire after he posted a picture of an extremely detailed timeline on a whiteboard on Twitter this morning – with some ridiculing it as nothing more than ‘sixth-form notes’.
And thousands more people poked fun at his laid back appearance, while others compared him to the BBC character Mr Blobby as #DominicCummings trended online.
Speaking today, the outspoken political figure lambasted Prime Minister Boris Johnson and senior Cabinet figures over their handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Pandemic Plan B: This picture of a muddled whiteboard, with timelines and graphs, was shared by Dominic Cummings on Twitter this morning and quickly came under fire from Twitter users
Social media users revelled in the bombshell revelations that Mr Cummings was providing to the select committee of MPs
@Fibutton wrote: ‘This is what the governing of this country comes down to – sixth form notes on a whiteboard?’
Dominic Cummings (pictured) apologised for his own role as he started a marathon four hours of evidence to a joint session of the Commons health and science committees
Dominic Cummings’ bombshell evidence
The initial apology: ‘The truth is that senior ministers, senior officials, senior advisers like me fell disastrously short of the standards that the public has a right to expect of its Government in a crisis like this. When the public needed us most the Government failed. I would like to say to all the families of those who died unnecessarily how sorry I am for the mistakes that were made and for my own mistakes at that.’
On the lack of preparation in February 2020: ‘We didn’t act like it was important in February, let alone January…. No10 and the government were not working on a war footing in February, it wasn’t until the last week of February there was any sense of urgency.’
On Boris Johnson’s attitude to Covid: ‘In February the Prime Minister regarded this as just a scare story. He described it as the new swine flu… The view of various officials inside No10 was if we have the PM chairing Cobra meetings and he just tells everyone ”it’s swine flu don’t worry about it, I am going to get Chris Whitty to inject me live on TV with coronavirus so everyone realise it’s nothing to be frightened of”, that would not help actual serious planning.’
On the PM missing Cobra meetings: ‘Lots of Cobra meetings are just going through PowerPoint slides and are not massively useful.’
Dominic Cummings gave an extraordinary account of the Government response to Covid today – revealing that Boris Johnson viewed it as a ‘scare story’ just a month before the first national lockdown and describing the dramatic moment when a top civil servant admitted: ‘We are absolutely f*****.’
While he addressed MPs, thousands of social media users were mocking his every word.
After an earlier tweet appearing to show a timeline of events in the run up to the first lockdown, some social media users compared the Plan B to ‘sixth-form notes on a whiteboard’.
As #DominicCummings was going viral, one user compared him entering the select committee chamber to Mr Blobby.
Others mocked his laid back appearance, comparing him to a divorced father at a soft play centre ‘who has just been told his kid has s*** in the pool’.
A tweet posted by Cummings on the Government’s detailed timelines were also compared to It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s Charlie Day.
The maverick former No10 chief said the government – and he personally – ‘fell disastrously short’ in its response to coronavirus during a titanic hearing with MPs on coronavirus.
He also said on the evening of March 13 the second most senior civil servant at the Cabinet Office, Helen MacNamara, came in and relayed to him the view of another senior official that ‘there is no plan’ and ‘we’re in huge trouble’.
Mr Cummings said she warned him that thousands could die and that ‘we are absolutely f*****’.
Mr Cummings conceded he should have been ‘hitting the panic button’ in mid-February but he had been ‘wrongly reassured’ by messages from the WHO and others about the situation in China.
The former chief adviser is delivering four hours of testimony to a joint session of the Commons health and science committees in which he is handing a bruising to his former friend and boss.
Mr Cummings is expected to be accused by Tory MPs of using today’s appearance to ‘avenge’ his sacking in November after he lost a power struggle with Ms Symonds.
But Labour will seize on the claims as evidence that Mr Johnson could have done more to save lives.
The committee of cross-party MPs heard a slew of damaging allegations, including that even in the first half of March Mr Johnson was still of the view that the threat to the economy was more significant than the public health risk.
Mr Cummings alleged the Prime Minister regarded the pandemic as a ‘scare story’ and the ‘new Swine Flu’ at that stage, and had even suggested he could be injected with the disease live on TV by medical chief Chris Whitty to show people it was not a threat.
Some Twitter users poked fun at his appearance, while others compared him to Mr Blobby (above)
In a detailed timeline, Mr Cummings said that on March 12 at 7.48am he texted the PM and said the Cabinet Office was ‘terrifyingly sh**’ and Covid restrictions should be stepped up immediately.
However, on the same day Donald Trump was trying to persuade the UK to join a bombing raid in the Middle East.
And Carrie Symonds was ‘going crackers’ at the PM over a ‘trivial’ story in the papers about their dog Dilyn.
The former aide also launched an excoriating attack on Matt Hancock, accusing him of ‘lying’ about PPE and access for treatment for those suffering from the disease.
He claimed that the then-Cabinet Secretary Mark Sedwill told him he had ‘lost confidence’ in Mr Hancock’s ‘honesty’ during key meetings.
Mr Cummings himself referenced the popularised ‘Spiderman Meme’ (above), while social media users poked fun at his appearance and compared him to Mr Blobby