Jun 16, 2020

United Kingdom Boris Johnson Coronavirus Briefing Transcript June 16

Boris Johnson Press Conference June 16
RevBlogTranscriptsBoris Johnson TranscriptsUnited Kingdom Boris Johnson Coronavirus Briefing Transcript June 16

British officials held a coronavirus press conference on June 16. Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the drug dexamethasone is the “biggest breakthrough yet” and is “proven to reduce the risk of death” in some Covid-19 patients. Full news conference speech here.


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Boris Johnson: (12:57)
Good evening. I’m delighted to be joined today by the Chief Scientific Adviser, Sir Patrick Vallance, and by Professor Peter Horby from the University of Oxford’s Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health. Today, I’m actually going to let them do most of the talking, as they have some news to share on a new treatment for coronavirus. But I will start by updating you briefly on the latest data.

Boris Johnson: (13:20)
The first slide, please. We’ve had 6,981,493 tests for coronavirus carried out or posted in the UK. This includes 113,107 carried out or posted yesterday. Of those, 298,136 have tested positive, an increase of 1,279 cases since yesterday.

Boris Johnson: (13:51)
The second slide shows the latest data from hospitals. 410 people were admitted to hospital with coronavirus in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland on the 13th of June. That’s down from 438 a week earlier, and down from a peak of 3,432 on the 1st of April. 385 coronavirus patients are currently in mechanical ventilation beds in the UK, down from 513 a week ago and down from a peak of 3,301 on the 12th of April.

Boris Johnson: (14:29)
The third slide shows what’s happening in hospitals across the country. There are now 5,254 people in hospital with coronavirus in the UK, down 16% from 6,282 a week ago and down from a peak of 20,698 on the 12th of April.

Boris Johnson: (14:54)
The fourth slide shows the daily figures for those who have, sadly, lost their lives after testing positive for coronavirus. Across all settings, the total number of deaths now stands at 41,969. That’s an increase of 233 fatalities since yesterday.

Boris Johnson: (15:19)
Although those figures are still very sad, they do show that we’re making good progress in controlling the spread of the virus. Tests are up. The cases are down. Hospital admissions down, the number of patients overall in hospital, and specifically those on mechanical ventilation beds, both down. Of course, while each death is one too many, deaths, to repeat, are coming down too. That progress has, of course, only been possible thanks to the dedication of the British people as we work together to beat this virus. By observing the lockdown, sacrificing contact with friends and families, everybody has played their part in bringing the virus under control, so it’s critical now that we hold our nerve and don’t throw away the progress that we’ve made.

Boris Johnson: (16:13)
On the 11th of May, I set out the plan to help our country to recover, and step by step we are working through it carefully and deliberately. At each stage, we have only proceeded when the evidence suggests that it’s safe to do so, ensuring that our five tests for adjusting the lockdown continue to be met. Yesterday, it was great to see our shops open their doors again. Our retail sector, I think, has done a fantastic job making sure that they are COVID secure, meaning they can open in a way that’s safe both for staff and for customers. And it was great to see so many people out shopping whilst observing social distancing, quite all of them, and that is so important for stopping the spread of the virus.

Boris Johnson: (17:07)
It’s also been very good to see more and more children coming back to school this week, some secondary pupils now returning for face-to-face contact with their teachers ahead of the exams next year. But I want to say to all parents whose children are eligible to return in primary school, and there’s loads of them, I want to assure you it is safe, and there is no need for your kids to miss out on their education. I hope they will go to school.

Boris Johnson: (17:41)
I know that people want us to go further with our changes to the social distancing measures, and I’m all too aware that the two-meter rule has big implications for schools and for many other sectors. I want you to know I absolutely hear those concerns and will do everything in my power to get us back to normal as soon as possible, but we must proceed carefully and according to our plan. I’m still committed to that central goal to get back to life as close to normal as possible, for as many people as possible, as fast and as fairly as possible, in a way that minimizes the risk of a new epidemic, minimizes the risk to life and maximizes our chances of a strong economic and social recovery.

Boris Johnson: (18:40)
Our plan sets out the next step for adjusting lockdown. You may remember for personal care, for the hospitality and leisure sector, for gatherings in places of worship, other public places, a lot more to come. That, as you know, will happen no earlier than July the 4th. We remain absolutely committed to that plan, and will say more about how we are going to be taking it forward.

Boris Johnson: (19:11)
Today, there’s other news, because the global efforts to find a long-term solution to the pandemic continue, whether that’s through a vaccine or treatment, and I’m absolutely delighted that the biggest breakthrough yet has been made by a fantastic team of scientists right here in the UK. I’m not really qualified to pronounce on this drug and its effects, but I’m going to ask Sir Patrick and Professor Horby to say more in a moment. I am proud of these British scientists, backed by UK government funding, who have led the first robust clinical trial anywhere in the world to find a coronavirus treatment proven to reduce the risk of death, and I’m very grateful to the thousands of patients in this country who volunteered for the trials. Thank you.

Boris Johnson: (20:15)
This drug, dexamethasone, can now be made available across the NHS, and we’ve taken steps to ensure we have enough supplies, even in the event of a second peak. Of course, while the chances of dying from COVID-19 have been greatly reduced by this treatment or significantly reduced by this treatment, they’re still far too high, so we must redouble our research efforts, and we certainly will. But today, I think that there is genuine cause to celebrate a remarkable British scientific achievement, the benefits it will bring, not just in this country but around the world, and I’ll now hand over to Sir Patrick.

Patrick Vallance: (21:07)
Thank you very much, Prime Minister. The way in which we find out whether drugs work is through clinical trials, and I think this is an extremely good example of a clinical trial that’s been very well-conducted, has had large numbers of patients enrolled across the UK. Peter Horby, who has led the study, will say more about it in just a minute. It’s called the RECOVERY study.

Patrick Vallance: (21:29)
I just want to spend a few moments to thank some of the people involved. I’d like to thank the investigators who put this together and led it so effectively. All of the people in the NHS who’ve been part of actually making this happen. Of course, the funders who allowed this to happen. That’s both the MRC and the National Institute of Health Research, NIHR. Actually, thank some of the other people involved behind the scenes, as well, such as Jonathan Van-Tam. And most importantly, the patients who volunteered to be part of this study. But rather than me talk about it, it’s much more important to hear from Peter Horby, who led this and really has driven the whole thing through. Peter?

Peter Horby: (22:07)
Yeah. Thank you very much. I’m co-chief investigator of the RECOVERY trial with Professor Martin Landry, and we’ve been supported by an absolutely fantastic team in Oxford, and also across the entire NHS, because the trial has been implemented across all countries in the United Kingdom, more than 175 hospitals, with tremendous efforts by NHS staff, who are under enormous pressure to actually talk to patients, tell them about the benefits of getting good clinical trial evidence to make sure we have the best treatments, and getting them into the trial.

Peter Horby: (22:41)
I think we’ve broken some records. In three months, we’ve enrolled over eleven and a half thousand patients. This makes it by far the biggest clinical trial in the world. And we’ve been testing six different drugs. A couple of weeks ago, we declared an answer on hydroxychloroquine, showing that in hospitalized patients it doesn’t work.

Peter Horby: (22:59)
This week, we’ve got some news on dexamethasone, which, as we’ve heard, is a steroid drug. It’s an old drug. Some people would say it’s a very boring drug. It’s been around for 60-odd years. It’s very cheap. It costs pounds, and overseas it costs pennies. We closed that arm of the trial on Monday, the 8th of June, because we had enrolled more than 2,000 patients on dexamethasone, and we compared them to 4,000 patients who had standard of care. What we saw was really quite remarkable.

Peter Horby: (23:32)
We’ve looked at different treatment groups, and the drug has a different treatment effect in different treatment groups. In ventilated patients with COVID-19, the drug dexamethasone, so 10 days of treatment with that, which is a tablet or an injection, reduces the risk of death by about 35%. in patients on the ward who require oxygen and have COVID, it reduces the risk of death by about 20%. That covers about 75% of patients in the hospital who will receive a mortality benefit from using this drug. There’s another group of patients who don’t require oxygen but have COVID, and we did not see a benefit in those patients. So it’s not a drug that you would use in the community or in outpatients or in patients on the ward who didn’t have breathing difficulties. But in patients with breathing difficulties who require oxygen or ventilation, it really is showing quite a significant effect.

Peter Horby: (24:28)
It’s really important, because the drug itself is very widely available. It’s on almost every pharmacy shelf in every hospital, it’s available throughout the world, and it’s extremely cheap. We’ve looked at the numbers, and if we treat eight patients in intensive care with this drug, we’ll save one life, and the total cost of treating all eight patients is only about 40 pounds. This is really, really remarkable. We’re extremely pleased with this result.

Peter Horby: (24:54)
We’re continuing with the trial because we have still four other drugs in the trial, and what we hope is we can build on this very strong foundation with adding additional drugs and continue to bring down the case fatality rate. I think this is really good news that we’ve now got a treatment that almost every patient can take and they will get benefit from it.

Patrick Vallance: (25:14)
Let me just add a couple of things to that. The important thing is this is the first medicine that’s been shown to reduce death in any group with COVID, and that’s the start of something. It shows this is possible to do. As other drugs get looked at, the hope is that they’ll add on top of that and you’ll add beyond the 25% or 35% change that Peter has talked about. This is the start of something important. It shows it is possible to reduce the inflammation and the outcome in patients with lung disease in hospital, and it’s the start of other drugs which might be added on top of it to make an even bigger effect in due course, we hope.

Boris Johnson: (25:56)
Thanks very much, Peter and Patrick. We’re going to go now to questions from the public, so can we go please to Trevor-

Boris Johnson: (26:03)
We’re going to go now to questions from the public. So can we go please to Trevor from Northamptonshire?

Trevor: (26:06)
With the World Health Organization and other countries opting to have a social distance of one meter, when will the government move from two meters to one to be in line with these countries?

Boris Johnson: (26:17)
Thanks very much, Trevor. And I think that’s the question that obviously I’m being asked the whole time now. As you know, the advice is that two meters is more effective at reducing the risk of transmission of the virus between us, and that’s why we’ve been going for two meters. Lots of countries going for two meters. That’s the advice that we’ve we’ve had from our scientists, but it’s also my view. And I think it increasingly warrants review that as we get the numbers down and we get the rate of infection down in the country, then the statistical likelihood, Trevor, of any of us actually being next to somebody, whether two meters, one meter or whatever distance, who has coronavirus, is going down the whole time. So we are keeping it under constant review. And as we depress the numbers, as we reduce the incidents, I think we’ll also have a strong case for reviewing those measures as well. And I hope to be able to do that, but I’m afraid to say we can’t do it yet. We need to continue to make progress. Patrick, anything you want to say on two meters?

Patrick Vallance: (27:29)
I think that’s exactly right, Prime Minister, two meters is safer than one meter, but it’s not an absolute, it’s a relative. And obviously the closer you get, the riskier it is. So it’s a risk assessment. And as we’ve said in the evidence that we’ve given scientifically, that there are things you can do to reduce the risk on top of that, including being side by side, rather than face to face, back to back, in a good ventilated space, the risk is lower outside, and face coverings can help when you’re in crowded spaces where you can’t avoid but to be close to somebody. So there are times in which this can be changed, and that evidence of course can then be the basis of a policy decision on what the right distance is that should be mandated or put forward as the rule to follow. So I don’t think two meters is some sort of absolute cutoff that never changes.

Patrick Vallance: (28:23)
And as the prime minister said, when you look at the incidents, the number of people getting the infection every day, or the prevalence, the number of people with the disease at any one time, which currently, according to the ONS numbers are something like six out of 10,000 people have the infection at the moment. You can see the probability gets quite low, and therefore you can start to think about ways in which you can manage the distance in certain circumstances in different ways.

Boris Johnson: (28:50)
Absolutely. Anything you want to add on the two week rule from the point of view of… Okay. Good. Well, Trevor, the answer is, we’re getting there. Please, people, I know people are very, very impatient about this, but we’re making as much progress on that as we can, and watch this space because we absolutely hear you. Terry says the latest funeral advice and recommendations are provided on May the 18th. Can you provide an update to these, and have these been relaxed for mourners, given the relaxations and easing of lockdown that have since taken place? Well, Terry, what I think I can say is that we do think that people should be able to attend funerals, provided they observe social distancing and follow the basic rules. And I think that we totally understand on compassionate grounds why people need to attend funerals. And we’ll be saying more about what we can do more generally to relax social distancing rules as we come up to July the fourth. Patrick, anything you want to say a bit more on funerals? Thanks very much, Terry, can we go to Vicky Young of the BBC please? Vicky.

Vicky: (30:17)
I’m going to say, you’ve talked a lot about leveling up and tackling inequalities in Britain, but it’s taken a campaign by a 22-year-old footballer to force you into action on free school meals. Have you lost touch with those that you promised to help? I’ve also got a question to Sir Patrick Vallance about Dexamethasone. Could this treatment mean that in the future, if there were to be a second wave, that we might not need to take such extreme lockdown measures?

Boris Johnson: (30:44)
Thanks very much, Vicky. Well actually, I talked to Marcus Rashford today, and congratulated him on his campaign in which to be honest, I only became aware of very, very recent today. And I thank him for what he’s done. I think he’s right to draw attention to this issue, but basically, we’ve got large numbers of who haven’t been able to get back into school. We’ve got a problem about getting kids back into the school in the way that we would want for the reasons that people understand. Though actually, there are lots of kids who could go back to school now, who aren’t going back to school, and I’d like to see that happen. But I do think it’s right that we should be looking after the families of the most vulnerable, the neediest right now. And that’s why we’ve got the COVID summer food plan, which we’ve announced today. And I hope it will make a big difference to those kids, and to those families. Sorry, yes, sorry.

Patrick Vallance: (31:51)
Peter may wants to come in on this, but just remember this drug doesn’t stop you catching the disease, it doesn’t stop you going into hospital with the disease. It reduces the death for those who are in hospital who require oxygen, or in ICU and require oxygen. And it’s a very important effect. But as Peter said, it’s roughly one in eight who survive as a result of this, a very important effect, but certainly not an effect size that would say, well, therefore you don’t need to worry about the other measures to try and reduce the spread of this infection. Peter, do you want to add to that?

Peter Horby: (32:28)
Yes. I mean, I would add to that, it’s great to have an effective treatment, but we need to build on that. We still, I think have got some room to improve the survival rates, quite markedly, but it’s only part of the measures to control this disease. We also need very good vaccines, and if need be, to reintroduce social distancing measures if we see transmission increasing again.

Boris Johnson: (32:50)
Thanks, Vicky, can we go to Dan Hewitt from ITV?

Dan Hewitt: (32:55)
Thank you. Prime Minister. Two questions, if I may, the first, we’re in Smethwick today filming with families who are reliant on the free school meal voucher scheme that you set up. Three of the families have said to us they remember you specifically saying that you would do whatever it takes to help them get through this crisis. You’ve just said it’s the right thing to do to help the neediest families to introduce the scheme over the summer, but why did it take a 22-year-old footballer to embarrass you into changing your policy? And second, if I may, how can you reassure your old friend David Cameron that merging the foreign office and DfID won’t, as he says, cause less respect for the UK overseas?

Boris Johnson: (33:37)
Well, Dan, first of all, on the summer food support scheme, I think it is, as I say, I think it is the right thing to do. And I do congratulate Marcus Rashford on his campaign. And we set out a voucher scheme for the first couple of holidays. Clearly free school meals should generally apply in term time. That’s what they’re there for, but we have to understand the pressures that families are under right now. And that’s why we’ve responded as we have. And as I say, I think it’s the right thing to do, and it will help the kids from the families that really, really need it. And on your second question about what we’re doing with DfID, well, look, I mean, I think this is a fantastic opportunity for this country to make the most of our enormous influence abroad, maximize the UK’s projection by merging DfID and the FCO. And frankly, I think it’s extraordinary we haven’t done it earlier. We have 28 out of 29 OECD countries do it this way. It’s far more coherent.

Boris Johnson: (34:55)
It means that the sums that we spend on aid are used not just to tackle poverty deprivation around the world, but they’re far better in line with UK government policy, the priorities of the British people. And I’m absolutely certain it’s the right thing for our country right now. Think of things like the coronavirus vaccine summit, the Gavi summit that we held just the other day. That was a fantastic example of the UK leading in helping to raise 8. 8 billion dollars, 8.8 billion dollars to come up with a vaccine, not just for coronavirus, but to help vaccinate kids around the world, and solve all sorts of problems. So what we’re trying to do is put that idealism, and that mission to improve the world, to save kids, to encourage female education at the heart of UK foreign policy. And we’re creating a new white hall super department that will actually, I think, enable us to express our views much more powerfully around the world. It would be good for development aid, and good for the UK. And it’s the right time to do it. Sam Coats, please from Skype.

Sam Coats: (36:22)
Thank you Prime Minister. To Patrick Vallance and Peter Hornby, on Dexamethasone, how quickly can people in the NHS who are suffering breathing problems expect to get this treatment? Is there an expectation that it will be available pretty much now for anybody who needs it in the UK? And Prime Minister, we understand that this drug has been put on the government’s export ban list, which means that companies can’t buy it up and export it to other countries. On the day that you’ve given a speech about global Britain, that doesn’t feel very global Britain to me. Can you explain the rationale behind that decision? And as part of your decision to merge the International Development Department and the foreign office, you seem to signal a very big shift in foreign policy, taking aid money away from Zambia and Tanzania, and giving it to relatively rich countries like Ukraine. Can you just spell out a bit more of your thinking behind that surprise decision? And why was that now?

Boris Johnson: (37:19)
Well, first of all, on the Dexamethasone and the ban on exports, I’m not aware of that. Patrick, are you aware of any-

Patrick Vallance: (37:37)

Boris Johnson: (37:37)
We’ll have to come back to you on that Sam. Dexamethasone, as I understand, it is a drug that is produced around the world. And perhaps Peter and Patrick might like to comment on this, but it’s produced very cheaply in India, it’s produced in Thailand. I think it was first identified in 1957, a steroid. So it’s been around a long time. I will have to come back to you on your suggesting that we’ve banned the export of Dexamethasone. It sounds peculiar to me. But we’ll certainly look into it. On your question about reprioritization of aid budget, that’s not what’s happening. That’s not what’s happening. What we want to do is to make sure that we get better bang for our buck.

Boris Johnson: (38:24)
The British taxpayer spends a huge amount on aid. And quite frankly, in my view, as somebody who observed things very close up, I’m a huge fan of what DfID has done. I’m a massive admirer of the dedication, idealism of our aid professionals. But what I want to see is greater integration of that passion and that commitment with our overall foreign policy objectives. And we can do that, and we can make much more difference around the world, if we act as one global Britain, with one focal point in the countries where we’re represented, we’re represented obviously around the world, with the ambassador…

Boris Johnson: (39:03)
…and [inaudible 00:39:01] obviously around the world with the ambassador in that country leading and really conveying a single message from the United Kingdom about our priorities, whether it’s female education or human rights or whatever it happens to be, and that is the way to get more bang for our buck. I passionately believe that it’s the right thing to do, and this is the right time to do it. All the other countries are going this way. Even if they previously had separate aid departments, they’ve been folding them in, and now’s the time for us to create this really powerful, unified voice for international policy. I think there was a question for you, Patrick, sorry.

Patrick Vallance: (39:45)
And I’ll bring in Peter, as well. The first thing to say is dexamethasone is inexpensive, very widely available, and the really exciting thing about this study is not only that it works, but it means it can work across the world. This is a change of practice. It doesn’t require complex manufacturing owned by one company that can’t produce it in scale. This is a drug which can immediately be used across the world for this condition, and that’s such an important thing. And your question was, what are we doing here? And the CMO will be issuing guidance to say that this should be used for clinical practice, and that’s what I expect to happen shortly as he releases his guidance. So, the idea is to get on with this and certainly to try and make this as available as possible everywhere in the world, which is part of the excitement. I don’t know, Peter, whether you want to add anything to this.

Peter Horby: (40:34)
I mean, of all the drugs in our study, it’s the one that I’m most excited about. I’m most pleased that we’ve got this positive result because it’s very stable, we know it extremely well, it’s been used for 60 years. It’s in the cupboards now, the doctors can walk across to the pharmacy cupboard in five minutes and they can prescribe it. They know how it works and they know it’s going to help, and so it can be done this evening. It’s fantastic.

Boris Johnson: (40:58)
Thanks very much. [ Jason Groves 00:00:41:00], Daily Mail.

Jason Groves: (41:02)
Thanks, Prime Minister. 12 weeks or so ago, you stood in that room and predicted we were going to send the coronavirus packing in 12 weeks. [inaudible 00:41:12] for lots of people, it doesn’t feel like that. People can’t send their kids to school, they can’t [hug 00:41:17] their loved ones, and you can’t get a haircut. Are we going to have cracked it in another 12 weeks? And can I ask, on a personal note, how Wilfred is getting on? Is he keeping you awake at night? Has he seen his grandparents yet?

Boris Johnson: (41:33)
Well, Jason, first of all, actually what I said was that we were going to turn the tide within 12 weeks. I hesitate to correct an illustrious correspondent such as yourself, but I said we would turn the tide, and I really think we did within 12. If you look at where the disease is now to, we went through the peak, we’ve now flattened the sombrero or whatever I said we were going to do. We did that. I think that as a result of the actions that the British people took, we saved many, many tens of thousands of lives at the least. And we’re coming through this in, of course it’s a very, very difficult time for this country, but we are coming through it. And yes, I do think that we’re now starting to see with drugs like dexamethazone, the idea that perhaps you could combine that with other things, we’re seeing the first chink of light, which I was perhaps a bit dubious about.

Boris Johnson: (42:41)
We’re seeing the first chink of light and the hope that there will be preparations, treatments, there already are, that can make a big difference to mortality rates. And as you know, we’re making big investments in vaccines. Now, all of that, none of that negates the importance of us continuing to follow the rules, to control the virus and save lives. I think people do understand that. We’ve turned the tide on it, we haven’t yet finally defeated it, and that is the reality that we have to face. I think people do accept that, but I also think people are absolutely resolved to defeat it, and I can assure you, Jason, that we will. And as for your other question about Wilfred, well, you know I never normally comment about these sorts of things, but it’s all fine so far. Thanks Jason. All doing well. Was that, I think it was, that was Jason’s only question, wasn’t it? I think there were no scientific questions there. Let’s go to [Sophia Sleigh 00:04:50] from the Evening Standard. Sophia?

Sophia Sleigh: (43:53)
Thank you, Prime Minister. My first question is for the scientists. The Evening Standard understands that there is a huge demand for data from postmortem tissue samples of coronavirus victims. Would you encourage more postmortem research and encourage families to give their consent? And my second question is for the Prime Minister. Spain says it’s considering imposing quarantine restrictions on UK visitors unless the British government lifts its own two-week isolation rule. What is your response to Spain today? And secondly, will you be talking about a travel corridor with France when you see President Macron later this week?

Boris Johnson: (44:31)
Thanks very much, Sophia. Do you want to address the scientific question first, Patrick?

Patrick Vallance: (44:37)
Clinical research in all its forms is incredibly important for this disease. It’s a new disease, which we are trying to learn about. I think the example of the recovery study, which Peter and Martin Landry have led so effectively, is an absolute landmark in understanding where something could make a difference and clinical research in all its forms can involve taking blood samples. It can involve taking tissues in order to understand what’s happened to the tissues to pick up virus. It can involve x-rays and scans and other things to look at it. And it also involves the use of postmortem tissue, sometimes, in order to understand more about the causes of death and the way in which the virus can affect different organ systems. And so that is an important part of understanding this disease and has always been an important part of understanding new diseases, understanding old diseases better, and trying to make sure that the treatments are therefore targeted in the right way. So, postmortem research is an important part of the research system, but there are many, many other parts as well. Peter, do you want to talk to that?

Peter Horby: (45:49)
I would completely echo that. This is a brand new disease we’re learning every day, but there’s still so much we don’t know. We still don’t know how it affects the blood vessels, how it affects the heart muscle, how it affects the nervous system. We really need to understand that properly, to really make progress. And I think there’s many contributions that people can make and agreeing to postmortems is one small way that they can make a contribution to other patients.

Boris Johnson: (46:15)
Thanks very much. I should say, obviously I’ll be talking to Emmanuel Macron about all sorts of ways in which we can bring our countries together, making sure that we eventually will be able to travel freely to and from each other’s country. Same goes obviously for Spain, as soon as we can. The reason for having the quarantine system is very simple. It’s we don’t want to reimport the disease just at the moment when we’ve really got it under control in this country, but we’re certainly looking at averages and ways to ensure that people can safely go on a holiday eventually. [Daniel Barnes 00:07:56] from the South Wales Argus.

Daniel Barnes: (46:59)
Thanks, Prime Minister. Yesterday, Welsh First Minister Mark Drakeford said in a briefing that he’d not spoken to you for three weeks. Does this lack of communication explain why you’ve been unable to maintain a consistent four-nation approach during this pandemic?

Boris Johnson: (47:16)
Well, Daniel, actually, we’ve done a huge amount of collaboration and conversation with Mark and with leaders in all the nations of the UK. And actually I think that, as I’ve said many times before, there’s far more that unites us than divides us. Welsh government ministers, ministers from Scotland, Northern Ireland, they’ve been in all the COBRA meetings, they’re talking continuously to Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, and I look forward to talking to Mark as soon as possible. But while you’re on, Daniel from South Wales Argus, I might just say that the people of Cardiff were amongst those who really volunteered in large numbers for the trial that enabled the dexamethazone trial to be successfully completed. So, a big, big shout out and a big thank you to the people who of Cardiff for their volunteering. Would that be right, Peter?

Peter Horby: (48:37)
Yes. The whole trial has been a huge effort across all the four nations with fantastic recruitment. Our top hospital’s in Leicester, but we had fantastic recruitment from Wales and Scotland and Northern Ireland as well, so it’s been a huge national effort.

Boris Johnson: (48:51)
Good. Thanks very much everybody. Thank you. Thank you, Daniel. Thanks. Thanks all. Thank you.

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