Sir Patrick revealed that despite the frustration he expressed about the former prime minister in his diary entries, he clarified that Boris Johnson did not have a unique inability to understand scientific concepts. He pointed out that scientific advisers in many other countries were also encountering similar difficulties in explaining these concepts to politicians. He mentioned a meeting with European scientific advisers where they all laughed at the difficulties one leader was having with exponential curves, stating that it was “tripping up every country.”
Sir Patrick also noted that Boris Johnson had given up science at the age of 15 and admitted that it wasn’t his strong suit. He said that Johnson struggled with some concepts and required frequent repetition. In separate diary entries, Sir Patrick revealed that Johnson expressed doubts about the ability of humanity to deal with the pandemic, wondering if “we are licked as a species.”
He described a 5-hour meeting with the prime minister where Johnson appeared distressed after attending a memorial service and questioned the effectiveness of measures such as wearing masks. He challenged the numbers and questioned whether they would really result in deaths, expressing skepticism about the exponential spread of the virus. Johnson seemed broken and wondered if the high rate of transmission was due to the libertarian nature of the nation. He expressed his frustration by saying, “Maybe we are licked as a species” and that “we are too s— to get our act together.”
It was previously revealed that Sir Patrick had written a journal during the pandemic, which he has provided as part of his evidence. Sir Patrick explained that he wrote the diary to maintain inner calm, protect his mental health, and shield his family from the pressures he faced.