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Boris Johnson 'asked scientists if blowing hairdryer up nose could kill Covid'

Boris Johnson 'asked scientists if blowing hairdryer up nose could kill Covid'

His former adviser has claimed the ex-PM got the idea from a YouTube video

Boris Johnson once asked the country's top scientists whether blowing a hairdryer up your nose could kill Covid, the inquiry into the pandemic has heard.

The former prime minister, who was in Downing Street at the time of the coronavirus pandemic, apparently got the idea after watching a YouTube video which suggested it.

He then posted the clip into a WhatsApp group which had senior health experts and Downing Street officials in it.

This is according to a written statement submitted to the Covid inquiry by Dominic Cummings, Johnson's former adviser who you might remember gave a press conference early in the pandemic after driving 250 miles during lockdown, and ended up leaving his job in November 2020.

In a series of messages the inquiry yesterday (31 October) heard that Cummings called members of the cabinet 'useless f**kpigs' and urged Johnson to reshuffle them.

The Covid inquiry has heard that Boris Johnson suggested blowing a hairdryer up the nose would cure the virus.
Carl Court/Getty Images

In his written statement to the Covid inquiry, Cummings accused the then prime minister of spreading misinformation during the pandemic, with the hairdryer moment singled out as 'a low point'.

Cummings' statement said: "A low point was when he circulated a video of a guy blowing a special hairdryer up his nose ‘to kill Covid’ and asked the CSA (Chief Scientific Adviser) and CMO (Chief Medical Officer) what they thought."

CSA Sir Patrick Vallance wrote in his pandemic diaries, which the inquiry has seen, that Johnson was also 'obsessed with older people accepting their fate and letting the young get on with life'.

In December 2020, Sir Patrick wrote Johnson was saying that some in the Conservative party described Covid as 'just nature’s way of dealing with old people' and that the PM said he was 'not entirely sure I disagree with them' but that 'a lot of moderate people think it is a bit too much'.

The inquiry heard that Johnson was 'not sure I entirely disagree' with the idea that Covid was 'nature's way of dealing with old people'.
Hollie Adams - WPA Pool/Getty Images

The Covid inquiry also heard that Johnson's nickname was 'the trolley', while WhatsApp messages from civil servant Simon Case said the PM 'cannot lead' and was making the job of government 'impossible'.

Among the other revelations that the Covid inquiry has heard is that Johnson had to be stopped from visiting the Queen in person on 18 March, 2020, five days before he announced a nationwide lockdown.

The inquiry heard that Downing Street adviser Cleo Watson refused to let Johnson get in a car and go to Buckingham Palace, while Cummings said he told the PM 'if you’ve got Covid and you kill the Queen you're finished'.

Johnson's former adviser Dominic Cummings claimed the Prime Minister got the idea from a YouTube video.
Carl Court/Getty Images

Johnson's former chief adviser also told the inquiry that Johnson may have been planning to use Matt Hancock as a 'sacrifice' for the inquiry, and that in autumn 2020 the prime minister asked him to 'figure out how we dead cat Covid'.

During the inquiry Cummings was himself criticised for writing 'violent and misogynistic' messages.

Helen MacNamara today (1 November) told the inquiry that sexism in Downing Street damaged the UK's response to the pandemic and that Johnson did not tackle the 'toxic' culture.

Cummings, who described MacNamara in WhatsApp messages as a 'c**t' and wrote that he would 'personally handcuff her and escort her from the building', said he was 'certainly not' a misogynist as he was 'much ruder about men'.

Featured Image Credit: Les Kasyanov/Global Images Ukraine/Getty Images/Getty Stock Images

Topics: UK News, Boris Johnson, Politics, Coronavirus