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Matt Hancock. Photo: TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

British Health Secretary Matt Hancock on Saturday resigned following outcry over photos showing him breaking the country's coronavirus regulations by kissing one of his aides.

Driving the news: The tabloid newspaper, The Sun, published images and video of Hancock kissing Gina Coladangelo, a senior aide. The newspaper said the photos were from May 6, two weeks before cross-household contact was allowed indoors in England.

  • "Initially Hancock tried to keep his job and [Prime Minister Boris Johnson] backed him on Friday, saying the matter was closed," Bloomberg writes.

Details: In a letter sent to Johnson, Hancock apologized "for breaking the guidance and apologize to my family and loved ones for putting them through this."

  • "We owe it to the people who have sacrificed so much in this pandemic to be honest when we have let them down as I have done by breaching the guidance," he added.

What they're saying: "I understand the enormous sacrifices that everybody in this country has made ... and those of us who make these rules have got to stick by them and that's why I've got to resign," Hancock said on Twitter.

  • "I'm very proud of what we've done to protect the [National Health Secretary] at the peak, to deliver that vaccine rollout — one of the fastest in the world — and I look forward to supporting the government and the Prime Minister from the backbenches," he added.

What's next: Sajid Javid, former chancellor and home secretary, will replace Hancock, the BBC reports.

Go deeper

Oct 2, 2021 - Health

U.S. hits 700,000 COVID deaths

People walk through "In America: Remember," a public art installation commemorating all of the Americans who have died due to COVID-19, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

The U.S. surpassed 700,000 deaths from the coronavirus on Friday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

Why it matters: A summer of division over vaccine and masking mandates only added to the surge in cases caused by the Delta variant. The U.S. went from 600,000 deaths to 700,000 in the span of three-and-a-half months.

Oct 3, 2021 - Health

Fauci: "False narrative" to think COVID vaccine obsolete if Merck drug approved

Photo: J. Scott Applewhite-Pool/Getty Images

NIAID director Anthony Fauci said Sunday it is a "false narrative" to think that the coronavirus vaccines would become unnecessary if an antiviral drug announced by Merck receives federal approval.

Why it matters: Fauci's remarks on ABC's "This Week," come on the heels of the pharmaceutical company's announcement on Friday that an oral antiviral treatment it is developing might reduce the risk of hospitalization or death from COVID.

Oct 2, 2021 - World

World Bank to give $400 million to Nigeria for COVID vaccine funding

Photo: Olukayode Jaiyeola/NurPhoto via Getty Images

The World Bank announced plans Thursday to give Nigeria $400 million to help fund COVID-19 vaccines for its citizens.

Why it matters: The World Bank stated that the additional funding, provided through the International Development Association, would help Nigeria vaccinate 51% of its citizens in two years.