Disgraced ex-Health Secretary Hancock he didn't want Oxford University's scientists to partner with US firm to make a Covid vaccine
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Matt Hancock says he talked Covid jab makers out of partnering with US firm because he thought Donald Trump would STEAL them

  • Matt Hancock claims he was worried about Trump taking jabs bound for Britain
  • His worries sprung from Oxford scientists potentially teaming up with a US firm
  •  The ex-mister is on a media blitz ahead of publishing a book about the pandemic

Matt Hancock today claimed he talked scientists out of a deal to make Covid jabs in the US — because he was scared Donald Trump would steal them.

The disgraced ex-Health Secretary argued he was worried the then-US president and his ‘America first’ policy could see the Oxford University-developed vaccine blocked from leaving the country.

At the time in 2021, Oxford were developing the promising jab but needed a pharmaceutical firm to handle production and manufacturing.

In the end, the Government-sponsored team at Oxford struck a deal with the British-Swedish company AstraZeneca – to be made in England and the Netherlands.

Mr Hancock said: ‘When they [Oxford] had to partner up with a major manufacturer I was not comfortable with that all happening offshore in the US,’ he said.

‘I was actually worried about Donald Trump [keeping the vaccines]’.

He made the comments during a radio interview with HealthTech Hour, as he goes on a media trail ahead of publishing a book about his experiences during Covid.

Mr Hancock added that ‘it turned out I needed to be worried about the EU’, referencing a geo-political spat with the bloc over AstraZeneca doses.

The AstraZeneca jab, which has since been given to nearly 25million Britons, was smeared by some EU leaders due to concerns about blood clots.

Brussels even blocked shipments of hundreds of thousands of doses of AstraZeneca bound for Australia, after a dispute about delivery deadlines for vaccine supplies to the continent. 

Britain, like several other countries in Europe, currently does not offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to people under 40 after it was linked to clotting disorders in 2021. 

It is the latest interview from Mr Hancock who has tried to relaunch his political and public career after being forced to resign as Health Secretary last year when it emerged he had an affair with a married aide which broke his own social distancing rules.

He revealed last month that he is writing a book about his time in Government during the pandemic.

It is expected to brag about his role in the vaccine rollout, despite claims responsibility for jabs was taken from him by the Prime Minister due to other Covid mishandlings.

Mr Hancock has also faced severe criticism over other aspects of his handling of the crisis, such as telling young people ‘don’t kill gran’ as part of social distancing measures, and failing to shield care homes.

Disgraced ex-Health Secretary Hancock he didn't want Oxford University's scientists to partner with US firm to make a Covid vaccine

Disgraced ex-Health Secretary Hancock he didn’t want Oxford University’s scientists to partner with US firm to make a Covid vaccine

Mr Hancock says he was worried a partnership between Oxford and the US could give then President Donald Trump the opportunity to take British jabs for Americans

Mr Hancock says he was worried a partnership between Oxford and the US could give then President Donald Trump the opportunity to take British jabs for Americans  

Other topics the former minister discussed during his interview with Health Hour include him claiming the UK never ran out of PPE and how he wants his role in the pandemic to be remembered. 

‘I hope that people understand that we took the best decisions we could in difficult circumstances in a fog of uncertainty,’ he said. 

The UK’s track record on buying PPE during the pandemic has also been criticised as after it emerged that nearly half a billion pounds was wasted on useless equipment at the start of the pandemic could have paid for a new NHS hospital.

Department of Health officials admitted last month that £461million of taxpayer cash was blown on masks, gowns and gloves intended to protect medical staff and patients from Covid that were found to be unfit for use. 

Ministers spent £14.8billion on securing PPE in the first year of Covid, according to annual Department of Health accounts. But roughly £8.7bn was written off, either because it was unusable or passed the expiry date. 

The former minister claimed the UK did not run out of PPE runs contrary to the experiences of some NHS staff, with some reporting at the height of the pandemic of using repurposed bin bags instead.

Mr Hancock’s upcoming book, which will be released by Biteback Publishing in October, has already attracted ridicule and disbelief from some members of the public.

Some relatives of people who died during the pandemic have also accused him of trying to ‘cash in’, with sales expected to earn him up to £100,000. But the royalties from it sales will reportedly be donated to NHS charities.


MARCH 26 2020

Matt Hancock was warned by the Care Home Alliance to test all care home residents discharged from hospital

APRIL 11 2020

Mr Hancock blames distribution issues for a PPE shortage that left NHS frontline workers without protective equipment 

The Royal College of Nursing said some staff had ‘no protection at all’ 

APRIL 16 2020

The Health Secretary makes it compulsory for all hospital patients returning to care homes to be tested before being discharged 

JUNE 17 2020

Mr Hancock apologises for slapping a colleague on the back in the Commons, breaching social distancing rules 

OCTOBER 11 2020

The Health Secretary denies he broke Covid rules by drinking in the Commons bar later than 10pm when a curfew was in place 

FEBRUARY 19 2021

Mr Hancock was found to have ‘breached his legal obligation to publish contract award notices’

MAY 26 2021

Dominic Cummings, the PM’s former aid, tells MPs that Matt Hancock told Boris Johnson all hospitalised care home residents would be tested before returning to their home

Mr Cummings said he told Mr Johnson to sack the Health Secretary 

MAY 28 2021

Mr Hancock was found to have committed a ‘minor’ breach of ministerial code by not declaring that a company he had shares in was given an NHS contract

JUNE 11 2021

Mr Hancock gives evidence to the parliamentary inquiry into the Covid crisis, denying there was ever a PPE shortage and claiming there is no evidence NHS workers died due to a lack of protective equipment

JUNE 26 2021

CCTV of Mr Hancock and his Parliamentary aide Gina Coladangelo was published on the front page of The Sun newspaper, along with the revelation that he had broken strict Covid restrictions in place at the time 

The footage was taken inside the Department of Health on May 6

Mr Hancock subsequently ended his 15-year marriage with his with Martha 

JUNE 27 2021

Mr Hancock quits as Health Secretary, saying in a video posted to Twitter that ‘those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that’s why I have got to resign’

DECEMBER 17 2021

A synopsis of Mr Hancock’s upcoming book claims he stopped Covid from causing a ‘tsunami of death and deprivation’ that would have destroyed the NHS and ‘led the race to deploy a vaccine on mass scale across Britain and the world’


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