Boris Johnson dodges question about whether he’s read government report estimating 120,000 winter deaths

Boris Johnson today dodged a question about whether he had read a government report which estimated 120,000 people could die during the winter.

The Prime Minister said he was “aware of the report” but stopped short of saying he had read it as he came to blows with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer during PMQs.

Sir Keir asked: “I have to ask in light of the last few questions – has the Prime Minister actually read this report that sets out the reasonable worst case scenario and tells the government that it needs to do about it in the next six weeks?”

Mr Johnson replied: “I’m of course aware of the report and we are of course taking every reasonable step to prepare this country for a second spike.”

The report by the Academy of Medical Sciences (AMS) found that almost 120,000 people could die in a second coronavirus wave if the government does not begin “urgent preparation”.

It warned that a surge in Covid-19 cases alongside usual winter pressures will result in NHS services being overwhelmed.

It was written for the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor Sir Patrick Vallance who requested an assessment of the different risks the NHS faces this winter.

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