Boris Johnson attributes UK’s COVID-19 vaccine success to ‘capitalism’, ‘greed’
Capitalism and greed gave Britain its success in vaccinating its population, Prime Minister Boris Johnson told lawmakers in a closed meeting, praising pharmaceutical companies for developing a shot in record time.
The comments, reported by The Sun newspaper, were made by Johnson during a Zoom meeting and could inflame a row with the European Union which is considering a ban on vaccine exports to Britain.
For more coronavirus news, visit our dedicated page.
“The reason we have the vaccine success is because of capitalism, because of greed my friends,” The Sun newspaper quoted him as saying during a meeting with Conservative lawmakers to rally them to support coronavirus restrictions.
The Sun reported that he later added: “Actually I regret saying it” and that he asked lawmakers repeatedly to “forget I said that”. An unidentified source told The Sun that he was not discussing the row with the EU.
Johnson’s Downing Street office declined an immediate comment when contacted by Reuters.
Asked about the comment, Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was not in the meeting.
“The prime minister always acknowledges the strong success that we’ve had in terms of the vaccine, not just the rollout, which is incredible, but also our ability as a country to develop the vaccine, and the role that pharmaceutical companies and science and technology has played in that,” Patel said.
Britain is gradually easing restrictions under a plan underpinned by the success of the national vaccination campaign, which has seen more than 28 million people receive a first vaccine dose.
On Tuesday, an EU official said the European Commission will extend EU powers to potentially block COVID-19 vaccine exports to Britain and other areas with much higher vaccination rates, and to cover instances of companies backloading contracted supplies.
UK will feel effects of Europe’s third COVID-19 wave soon: Johnson
UK must preserve vaccination drive progress at all costs: Minister
UK says more than 25 mln have had their first COVID vaccine jab
UK will feel effects of Europe’s third COVID-19 wave soon: JohnsonBritish Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned that the third wave of COVID-19 infections sweeping across Europe could be heading towards Britain.For ... Coronavirus
UK PM Johnson welcomes families who immigrated from Hong Kong under new visa schemePrime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Hong Kong families who have recently moved to Britain, saying he is proud that they have decided to start a ... World News
UK’s PM Johnson seeks a minor seat in the global space raceBritain on Tuesday set out plans to book a minor seat in the global space race beside the United States, China, Russia and the European Union with a ... World News
UK needs to boost cyber-attack capacity: PM JohnsonBritain needs to boost its capacity to conduct cyber attacks on foreign enemies, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said before the publication of a ... World News