Humza Yousaf accuses Sunak of 'Trumpism' over lockdown comments
Scottish Health Secretary Humza Yousaf has accused Rishi Sunak of “desperate Trumpism”, after the former Chancellor claimed it was a mistake to “empower scientists” to make decisions on lockdowns during the coronavirus pandemic.
The former Chancellor said the government should have acknowledged “trade-offs” such as the long-term impact on the economy, schools and the NHS when Britain went into lockdown in 2020.
In an interview with The Spectator, Sunak said a member of the Treasury had been involved in calls between members of the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) which helped carry out modelling for the impact of the pandemic.
“We shouldn’t have empowered the scientists in the way we did,” he said. “And you have to acknowledge trade-offs from the beginning. If we’d done all of that, we could be in a very different place.”
In response, Yousaf tweeted: “Have stayed out of circus that is Tory Leadership contest but this needs called out. Such desperate Trumpism from Sunak. If we ignored experts and let Covid rip through our communities, before a single vaccine was administered thousands more would be mourning in Scotland alone.
“While clinicians advised us, governments were free to make the policy decisions we did. Every government minister should be grateful to our scientists and clinicians, not be attempting to throw them under the bus in a desperate attempt to win over those on the fringes.”