LONDON (AP) — Britain’s health minister has defended his handling of the coronavirus pandemic after a former top government aide alleged the government’s botched response had led to tens of thousands of needless deaths. Health Secretary Matt Hancock hit back after Dominic Cummings singled him out for criticism in an excoriating attack on the government. Cummings accused Hancock of lying to the public and said he “should have been fired” for mistakes including the discharge of patients with the virus from hospitals to nursing homes. Hancock said Thursday that “the unsubstantiated allegations around honesty are not true.” He said his preeminent concern had been to preserve life. The U.K. has recorded almost 128,000 coronavirus deaths, the highest toll in Europe,
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