“At this point we had Trump sending the CIA round trying to gazump everybody on PPE,”
Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s senior adviser has claimed that ex-President Donald Trump directed the CIA to procure Protective Personal Equipment (PPE) ahead of other nations during the coronavirus outbreak.
On Wednesday, Dominic Cummings made the remark while testifying to British legislators on a joint committee assessing the United Kingdom’s coronavirus response.
Cummings, who departed Downing Street in November 2020 following a dramatic feud with Johnson, said that the United Kingdom had lagged in obtaining critical equipment and that the British Department of Health’s PPE procurement procedure was “completely hopeless.”
“There wasn’t any system set up to deal with proper emergency procurement,” Cummings said.
Cummings said he was told “we ship it because that’s what we always do” and claimed he then told colleagues to “leave this meeting, commandeer the planes, fly them to China, drop them at the nearest airfield, pick up our stuff, fly it back.”
Cummings also said that in a cabinet meeting on 27 March 2020, the very day Boris Johnson tested positive for coronavirus, that the Department of Health had been “been turning down ventilators because the price had been marked up”, he added: “it completely beggars belief that sort of thing was happening.”
Criticizing the administration for which he served as the Prime Minister’s main adviser, “The whole system was just like wading through treacle on all these sorts of things, there wasn’t an emergency fast track process for people to deal with these kind of things, that’s why I described it as a smoking ruin.”
“When I was having PPE meetings around the cabinet room table, we were told ‘oh well the PPE obviously isn’t going to arrive for months’…because it takes that long to ship,” he said on Wednesday.
“At this point we had Trump sending the CIA round trying to gazump everybody on PPE,” he added, according to Inews.co.uk.
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Dominic Cummings says govt plans to deal with #COVID19 on March 12 were "completely derailed" because Trump wanted the UK to "join a bombing campaign in the Middle East", and the PM's partner was "going completely crackers" over a story about her dog. https://t.co/9jzMGBz8Oi pic.twitter.com/J0ge10KHHw
— Sky News (@SkyNews) May 26, 2021
To “gazump” is a word commonly used in the UK real estate market to describe making a larger offer for a home than what the seller has already accepted.
Cummings did not explain any nations or circumstances he thinks Trump had attempted to “gazump” the United Kingdom.
The Trump administration stated in May 2020 that it hoped to raise its supply of N95 respirator masks to 300 million in the following three months.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Strategic National Stockpile and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) had 142 million N95 masks by mid-November.
During his speech, Cummings made another reference to Trump, this time in a harsh criticism of UK Health Secretary Matt Hancock.
According to Cummings, the British government’s efforts to combat the epidemic in March 2020 have been thwarted by Trump’s proposal to “start a bombing campaign in the Middle East.”
He stated that Johnson was scheduled to call a COBRA emergency government meeting.
However, this was shattered when Downing Street declared that “Trump wants us to join a bombing campaign in the Middle East tonight.”
“You had the national security people running in and out, talking about, ‘are we going to bomb the Middle East?’ And we had the COVID meeting being delayed, trying to figure out, are we going to do household quarantine?” he added.
On March 12, 2020, the Pentagon said that the United States had launched out airstrikes on weapons facilities controlled by an Iranian-backed militia in response for a rocket attack near Baghdad that killed two US soldiers and one British soldier.