In his bombshell new book, Pandemic Diaries: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle Against Covid, former health secretary Matt Hancock shares his day-by-day musings as the world fell into the grips of the emerging coronavirus – and he holds little back, at one point calling former US President Donald Trump a “plonker” and an “awful, awful man” and former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson “obese”.
The book, which was co-authored with Isabel Oakeshott and is being serialised in the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, the 44-year-old detailed how he became aware of the emerging virus, and the fear that gripped the very heart of Government as it spread.
Towards the end of March 2020, the Prime Minister himself contracted COVID-19. Although he was only displaying mild symptoms initially, his condition “worsened” and he was moved to the intensive care unit of St Thomas’ hospital on April 6.
In Mr Hancock’s diary, on the entry marked Tuesday, April 7, he wrote: “It looks like obesity is a significant risk factor. Maybe that is why the PM went downhill.”
Luckily, Mr Johnson recovered and consequently launched the “Better Health” campaign in a bid to tackle obesity. He said himself that the reason why he had had such a “nasty experience with the disease” was that he had a very “common underlying condition”: he was “too fat”.
Speaking at the Conservative Party conference in October 2020, he said he had lost 26 pounds and endeavoured to live a healthier lifestyle following his bout in intensive care.
Mr Hancock was arguably more scathing in his attack on Mr Trump. On April 4, 2020, Mr Hancock’s entry reads: “President Trump has randomly and dangerously declared that hydroxychloroquine is an effective treatment for Covid, despite a total absence of the evidence. What an awful, awful man.”
During a roundtable event at the White House in May of that year, Trump told how he had been taking an anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, in order to prevent coronavirus infection.
He said: “I happen to be taking it. A lot of good things have come out. You’d be surprised at how many people are taking it, especially the front-line workers.”
The former President defended the use of the drug again in July of that year. However, Dr Anthony Fauci – who is the Chief Medical Advisor to the President – told the BBC it was not effective.
READ MORE: ‘Dominic Cummings has just one setting… divide and destroy.’
He said: “We know that every single good study – and by good study, I mean randomised control study in which the data are firm and believable – has shown that hydroxychloroquine is not effective in the treatment of COVID-19.”
While Mr Hancock said he was partly amused by Mr Trump’s assertion that he was taking the drug, he was horrified that people had taken him seriously and were following suit.
He continued: “A small part of me found it funny – this is the President of the United States. The leader of the free world. A much bigger part of me was horrified.
“You’d like to think nobody would take these wild suggestions seriously, but around the world, doctors are now genuinely having to warn people not to attempt to treat themselves with Cillit Bang.”
DON’T MISS: Girl, 7, eats so little ‘you can see her ribcage’ [PICTURE]
Vandal smashes car windows and spraypaints ‘move’ on vehicles [REPORT]
XR activist who caused £100k damage weeps at prospect of prison [INSIGHT]
In another extract which has not yet been published, Hancock told how he wept tears of joy when he found out that Trump had lost out to the current President, Joe Biden. Not only this but when he found out that both Mr Trump and his wife Melania had contracted COVID-19, he said he had to resist the urge to recommend that he drink bleach.
In the excerpt published by MailOnline, he wrote: “Donald and Melania Trump have got Covid. Tempting as it was to take to social media and suggest Trump try treating himself with a blast of UV light or by drinking bleach, I left it.”
He continued: “I lay on the sofa and somewhat to my own surprise, I burst into tears of relief. Finally an end to the Trump madness. He has been such a disaster for the western values I hold so dear.”
Pandemic Diaries: The Inside Story of Britain’s Battle Against Covid was published by Biteback on December 6 and is available here.