On Monday, former chief scientific advisor Patrick Vallance testified at the UK’s public inquiry into the COVID-19 pandemic, revealing that Boris Johnson struggled to understand much of the science during his time as Prime Minister. Vallance stated that he and others encountered repeated difficulties in getting Johnson to comprehend the science, but also mentioned that leaders in many countries faced similar problems in understanding scientific evidence and advice. Despite these challenges, Vallance emphasized the importance of trusting scientific experts and following their guidance during crises.
Johnson stepped down as Prime Minister in September 2022 following revelations of rule-breaking parties at his Downing Street residence during the pandemic. He is scheduled to address the inquiry before Christmas, where he will have an opportunity to provide his own account of events and respond to any criticisms leveled against him.
The public inquiry into the UK’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic is expected to shed light on a wide range of issues, including government decision-making processes, communication strategies, and resource allocation. The findings of the inquiry will be used to inform future public health policy and emergency management practices.