Family of Dominic Cummings feared PM’s adviser would need a ventilator over coronavirus

PUBLISHED: 15:06 23 April 2020 | UPDATED: 18:54 24 April 2020

Chief Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, listens during a press conference at Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

Chief Adviser to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Dominic Cummings, listens during a press conference at Downing Street. Photograph: Matt Dunham/PA Wire.

The family of Boris Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings feared that he would need a ventilator after becoming bed-ridden with Covid-19 symptoms.

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Cummings’ wife Mary Wakefield said that the political adviser and Vote Leave mastermind spent 10 days in bed with the disease, and was away from work for two weeks.

The Johnson aide was seen running away from Downing Street on March 27th after Boris Johnson and Matt Hancock tested positive for Covid-19, and was not seen back in work until April 14th.

It was reported shortly after his disappearance he had developed symptoms.

Writing for the Spectator magazine his wife said: “Day in, day out for ten days he lay doggo with a high fever and spasms that made the muscles lump and twitch in his legs. He could breathe, but only in a limited, shallow way.”

Wakefield said she feared that Cummings would need to spend time in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU), like his boss Boris Johnson, as his breathing deteriorated.

“After a week, we reached peak corona uncertainty. Day six is a turning point, I was told: that’s when you either get better or head for ICU.

MORE: ‘Macho’ attitude in Number 10 led to coronavirus entering Downing Street, claims Tory MP

“But was Dom fighting off the bug or was he heading for a ventilator? Who knew? I sat on his bed staring at his chest, trying to count his breaths per minute.


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“The little oxygen reader we’d bought on Amazon indicated that he should be in hospital, but his lips weren’t blue and he could talk in full sentences, such as: ‘Please stop staring at my chest, sweetheart.’”

Downing Street at the time had brushed off suggestions he had been seriously ill, insisting there was no connection between Cummings’ disappearance and the hiring of a Tory election chief.

They said Cummings had been working from home and stayed in contact with his work during this period.

A spokesperson rejected claims it had not been transparent about his condition, telling Mail Online: “All we ever said was that he was in contact and that was the case.”

Number 10 previously dismissed a report that Cummings had suggested advocating “herd immunity”, after a newspaper claimed he had outlined the government response as “herd immunity, protect the economy, and if that means some pensioners die, too bad.”

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