DOMINIC Cummings has been caught adding references to coronavirus to a year-old blog post on pandemics – after boasting in yesterday’s press conference that he has long warned of the dangers of incidences like the current Covid-19 crisis.

Boris Johnson’s top adviser yesterday spoke to press after it emerged he drove 250-miles to stay on his parents’ Durham property while he had Covid-19. He defended the journey and argued it was to ensure childcare was available for his four-year-old son.

During the conference Cummings was asked why he had not felt able to stay in London and source childcare there while he and his wife had the virus, but he said he felt his home had become a target after reports of his support for “herd immunity” to Covid-19.

Denying he rejected lockdown or backed herd immunity, Cummings pointed to his blog – and added: “Last year I wrote about the possible threat of coronaviruses and the urgent need for planning.”

However, the blog post, from March 2019, only references coronavirus once in relation to an accident at a Chinese lab that led to one Sars death in 2004 – and this was added between April and May this year.

A Twitter thread from the BBC’s Faisal Islam showed how changes had been made recently with help from internet archival resource the Wayback Machine.

After reading through the post Cummings advised people to read up on yesterday, Islam said: “Listening to him, he seemed to be saying that there was no way he would have backed herd immunity because he had warned of pandemic threat in particular from coronaviruses [ie with no vaccines and treatments] which would have been impressively prescient, but cant see it there...

“Again - he literally told us to read his blog about his warnings on this topic - but the only warning on his blog I can find is re protecting biolabs from attack, not eg wet markets, or a virus with no vaccine or treatments - so what exactly is he asking us to infer here?”

With help from data scientist Jens Wiechers, who ran the post through the Wayback Machine, Islam found the sole coronavirus reference was put in just weeks ago.

Islam later uncovered that the Wayback Machine discovery was corroborated by the blog’s sitemap, which found the edit to add the “coronavirus” reference came on April 14, the day Cummings returned to Downing Street after visiting the north east of England.

Islam added: “To be clear - I was genuinely interested in how prescient he had been on coronaviruses, and expected to be impressed. Perhaps that writing is elsewhere... I’d be interested in reading it and happy to link to it, if anyone can show it me. But...”

Cummings’s article primarily focuses on how “the most secure bio-labs routinely make errors that could cause a global pandemic”.

Conspiracy theories that Covid-19 originated in a Wuhan lab have been deemed unlikely by scientists, who say there is no evidence of such an incidence. However in the US, Republican leaders have leapt on the theory in their efforts to blame China for the current crisis.