Twitter users have condemned the prime minister’s initial stance on coronavirus, after it was revealed that Boris Johnson said “the best thing would be to ignore it”.

The comment, featured in a report for the Covid Confidential podcast, comes exactly one year after Johnson delivered a Downing Street briefing saying that “now is the time for everyone to stop non-essential contact with others and to stop all unnecessary travel”.

The “damning” article from BBC News’ Laura Kuenssberg also includes claims that there was a “lack of concern and energy” this time last year, with Johnson reportedly stating that “an overreaction could do more harm than good”.

The BBC News report is the latest criticism of Johnson’s early response to the emerging pandemic – one which would go on to leave more than 126,000 people dead.

In April last year, The Sunday Times reported that Johnson missed five meetings of Cobra – the acronym for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, where urgent crises are discussed – in January and February.

Twitter users were quick to condemn the Government’s pandemic response, with one describing the BBC article as a “gut-wrenching read”:

The online reaction also comes as the UK approaches the anniversary of its first lockdown, which was announced on 23rd March last year. 

More: The four key lessons from Covid that should shape policy decisions everywhere

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