Dominic Cummings added warning about 'coronaviruses' into old blog post, Downing Street admits

Joanna Taylor
Tuesday 26 May 2020 12:15
news

Downing Street has confirmed that Dominic Cummings retroactively added a reference to coronavirus in his blog.

A post on Dominic Cummings's personal blog from March 2019 was edited in April 2020 to add the reference, Downing Street confirmed to the New Statesman.

Cummings mentioned the blog post in question during his televised statement regarding allegations that he had broken lockdown rules.

For years I have warned of the dangers of pandemics.

Cummings told the press during his prepared statement.

Last year I wrote about the possible threat of coronaviruses and the urgent need for planning.

But internet archival service The Wayback Machine determined that there was no mention of coronavirus in Cummings's post until at least 9 April this year.

A paragraph in which Cummings refers to two researchers in China being exposed to "(SARS) coronavirus" and subsequently infecting others has been added. Like Covid-19, SARS is a form of coronavirus.

A sitemap of the blog suggest the change was made on 14 April 2020, a day on which Cummings attended a government briefing in Downing Street.

Downing Street acknowledges that the change was made, but points out that the blog has always linked out to other scientific research that discusses coronaviruses.

So Cummings has taken an interest in the possibility of a pandemic before.

But if it is this blog he was referring to during his statement, he did not explicitly mention that it could be a coronavirus pandemic. Though it's possible he was referring to another piece of writing that we don't know about.

On social media there have, of course, been plenty of jokes about this. But others have suggested this calls into question the credibility of Cummings' statement and there are even calls for an investigation.

It looks like this story isn't over yet.

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