Boris Johnson joked that the elderly could "get Covid and live longer" in private WhatsApp messages with his team about the average of people dying from the virus
The Prime Minister appeared to make the quip in a series of private WhatsApp messages to aides which appear on October 15 just a fortnight before the second lockdown at the end of October.
According to messages disclosed to the BBC by his former chief aide Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson said: "I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on covid fatalities.
"The median age is 82 – 81 for men 85 for women. That is above life expectancy. So get COVID and live longer.
"Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (4 per cent ) and of those virtually all survive. And I no longer buy all this nhs overwhelmed stuff. Folks I think we may need to recalibrate."
The interview with Dominic Cummings will be broadcasted on BBC 2 at 7pm on 20th July
The comments were made as pressure was building for Mr Johnson to plunge the UK into the second national lockdown last Autumn.
The PM added: "There are max 3m in this country aged over 80. It shows we don’t go for nationwide lockdown."
The messages emerged as part of a broadcast interview that Mr Cummings gave to the BBC, in which the former chief adviser said the PM came to regard the first lockdown last March as "a disaster".
Mr Cummings also claimed that he had to stop Mr Johnson going to see the Queen in person at the beginning of the Covid pandemic, when staff in Number 10 were already falling ill and the Prime Minister had already instructed the public to avoid all unnecessary contact, especially with the elderly.
Mr Cummings said: "I said, ‘what are you doing’, and he said, ‘I’m going to see the Queen’ and I said, ‘what on earth are you talking about, of course you can’t go and see the Queen’.
"He said, ‘ah, that’s what I do every Wednesday, sod this, I’m gonna go and see her’.”
Mr Cummings said he told Mr Johnson: "If you give her coronavirus and she dies what, what are you gonna, you can’t do that, you can’t risk that, that’s completely insane.
"And he said, he basically just hadn’t thought it through, he said, yeah, ‘holy S***, I can’t go.’”
Downing Street denied that this incident took place. Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
A Number 10 spokesman told the BBC: "Since the start of the pandemic, the Prime Minister has taken the necessary action to protect lives and livelihoods, guided by the best scientific advice."