Circling the wagons around DC

Government ministers were out in force today defending the position of Dominic Cummings.

Downing Street earlier put out a statement on Mr Cummings’ actions.

It said: “Owing to his wife being infected with suspected coronavirus and the high likelihood that he would himself become unwell, it was essential for Dominic Cummings to ensure his young child could be properly cared for.

“His sister and nieces had volunteered to help so he went to a house near to, but separate from, his extended family in case their help was needed. His sister shopped for the family and left everything outside.

“At no stage was he or his family spoken to by the police about this matter, as is being reported. “His actions were in line with coronavirus guidelines.”

Cummings gave a short statement to reporters outside his house, saying he “behaved reasonably and legally” when asked about the trip from London to Durham. Asked whether it looked good, he said: “Who cares about good looks? It’s a question of doing the right thing. It’s not about what you guys think.” He was later asked by reporters whether he would consider his position, he said: “Obviously not.”

The Downing street press briefing was chaired by Grant Shapps, Transport Minister, who tried to use up as much time as possible on a whole load of transport initiatives costing hundreds of millions – have no idea what they were.

All but one of the press questions were about Dominic Cummings and his trip to Durham, and how reasonable this was in the circumstances, due to the “vulnerability” of his 4 year old son.

For want of nothing better to do, I have created a timeline of events as we know them from the Guardian and Sun articles today, and also Cumming’s wife Mary Wakefield’s quite insightful article in the Spectator on April 25th, outlining their experience. As I have no reason to doubt the veracity of Mary’s account of events, one can draw a number of conclusions.

Mary Wakefield was never as ill as Dominic Cummings, and indeed looked after both Cummings and their son during the period of self isolation in Durham.

In view of the fact that Cummings fell ill 24 hours after She did, presumably on the Saturday evening, and could not get out of bed on the Sunday, implies that it was She who drove the family up to Durham on the Monday, with Cummings very ill at that time. Alternatively, Cummings could have driven the family up to Durham on the Friday evening, which I hadnt thought of.

It is not known if they stopped at any service stations for comfort breaks, to eat or to refuel, all of which would have been against lockdown instructions. When and what time the member of the public who saw Cummings on the 31st March, and reported it to the police is also not clear. She never mentioned the trip to Durham in her article – quite an omission.

Whether Cummings spent 8 or 10 days in bed is not known, but Mary Wakefield looked after him throughout together with their son, which begs the question why did they not just stay in London ? I guess they did not realise that She would only have mild symptoms and that he would have serious symptoms.

Day & Date Guardian Article source Spectator Article source
Fri 27 MarDC rushes home from Downing Street. Drove to Durham ?? Mary Wakefield feels ill and asks DC to come home.
Sat 28 MarDC develops covid-19 symptoms over weekend24 hours later, DC feels “weird” and “could not get out of bed” (assume Sun am)
Sun 29 MarDC develops covid-19 symptoms over weekendAssume DC could not get out of bed. (Day 1)
“In bed for 10 days with low oxygen”
Mon 30 MarDay 2 in bed. DC “lay doggo in bed with high fever”
Tues 31 MarMember of public in Durham sees Cummings and local Police informed. Day 3 in bed. “DC has spasms and twitchy legs”
Wed 1 AprDay 4 in bed. DC “shallow breathing”
Thu 2 AprDay 5 in bed. DC “shallow breathing”
Fri 3 AprDay 6 in bed. DC’s “oxygen levels say he should be in hospital”
Sat 4 AprDay 7 in bed.
Sun 5 AprBoris Johnson admitted to Hospital approx 19.45.Day 8 in bed. DC “starting to feel better”. Seen in his parents garden with son @ 17.45
Mon 6 AprBoris Johnson transferred to Intensive care as a precautionDay 9 in bed ? better ?
Tues 7 AprDay 10 in bed ? better ?
Wed 8 Apr
Thurs 9 AprBoris Johnson out of ICU but remains in Hospital.
Fri 10 Apr Good FridayEnd of Cummings household self isolation quarantine ?
Durham timeline

Updated post – 24th May

Day and DateGuardian/Observer source
Sat 11 Apr
Sun 12 Apr Easter DayCummings and family seen at Barnard castle,
30 miles away from Durham
Mon 13 Apr
Tues 14 AprCummings back to work in Downing Street
Wed 15 Apr
Thurs 16 Apr
Fri 17 Apr
Sat 18 Apr
Sun 19 AprCummings seen in Durham by witness

New claims have emerged that Dominic Cummings further breached the lockdown rules, as Downing Street came under sustained pressure to fire the prime minister’s most senior adviser. The new testimony suggests Cummings left the home where he was staying in Durham to visit a town 30 miles away on 12 April.

He was allegedly spotted back in Durham on 19 April, days after he was photographed in London having recovered from the virus, suggesting that following his first trip across the country at the end of March he had made a second journey from the capital to north-east England. At the time, with the UK at the peak of the pandemic, the government was insisting that people should be staying at home.

Cummings and family probably returned to London on 13th April.

Click for full Guardian/Observer article

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