Latest Issue

Dominic Cummings is right: herd immunity was always the government’s Plan A

The argument about the UK’s initial pandemic strategy will test the integrity of its scientific advisers

By Philip Ball  

Dominic Cummings arrives for his much-hyped committee appearance. PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

I’d not have put Dominic Cummings down as a masterful explainer, given his endlessly meandering blogs. And in his account to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on Wednesday, even he admitted that he is an unreliable witness. But his testimony should have made it very plain why he was absolutely correct to have tweeted in advance, regarding the government’s initial pandemic response plan, that “Herd immunity wasn’t ‘a secret strategy’, it was THE OFFICIAL PUBLIC EXPLAINED ON TV/RADIO STRATEGY!”

What’s troubling is that there was ever any confusion about this. Sure, Home Secretary Priti Patel told the BBC’s Andrew…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect