Dominic Cummings, a senior adviser to British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, is rebuffing calls for his resignation and refusing to apologize for traveling with his family in March and April amid the country's mandatory coronavirus lockdown.
During a press conference on Monday, Cummings admitted that he drove 264 miles from London to his parents' house in Durham in March. He was accompanied by his wife and son, and at the time, both he and his wife suspected they had coronavirus. Cummings said they drove to Durham in case they became sick and needed his niece to watch their son, and claimed he stayed in a separate building with his family and only communicated with his parents by yelling at them from far away. "I don't regret what I did," he said.
Cummings also revealed that after a 14-day self-quarantine, his family drove 30 miles away to Barnard Castle, saying he needed to "check his eyesight was good enough for the longer drive back to London," The Guardian reports. Cummings and his family returned to London on April 14, and he claimed people who saw him in Durham on April 19 were mistaken.
At least 20 members of the Conservative Party have said Cummings should resign, the Labour Party has called for an investigation, and scientists have said Cummings' actions likely undermined public health advice. Cummings directed the Vote Leave campaign during Brexit, which helped usher Johnson into power, and the prime minister is supporting him. On Sunday, Johnson said Cummings "followed the instincts of every father and every parent" and as such, would not be dismissed. Johnson was hospitalized with coronavirus in April, spending time in the intensive care unit. Catherine Garcia