Cabinet minister says Boris Johnson has "absolutely been leading" coronavirus effort in UK


Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 25.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on March 25. Peter Summers/Getty Images
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson has “absolutely been leading our nation’s effort to combat the coronavirus” since the moment “it became clear that there were challenges in terms of coronavirus developing in China,” Education Secretary Gavin Williamson said at the Downing Street press conference Sunday.
In response to a question over Johnson’s lack of attendance at five Cobra meetings in January and February, Williamson said Johnson has been “making sure that resources and money is not an issue or concern for any department, especially for health services." Cobra refers to interdepartmental government meetings called in times of crisis.
“Many Cobra meetings take place and I have spent many hours attending Cobra meetings where it is actually led by the departmental minister,” Williamson said.
Johnson first chaired a coronavirus Cobra meeting on March 2.
“But the focus that the prime minister was putting on this, and has continued to put on this, has meant that this is the whole government effort,” he added.
Williamson responded to criticism about the government’s response to acquiring personal protective equipment (PPE). He said the government has been trying to secure PPE “from the first moment” scientific advice highlighted “we were facing a real challenge in terms of the coronavirus."
“What we have seen over the last few months is an enormous effort – it’s a national effort, but also an international effort to secure PPE from right around the globe,” he added. 

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