Richard Madeley hits out at Dr Hilary for ‘misleading’ Covid data in GMB clash
Richard Madeley and Dr Hilary clash over Covid statistics
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Richard Madeley suggested the data Dr Hilary Jones provided on Good Morning Britain today was “misleading”. The panel were discussing whether or not face masks should be ditched on July 19, also known as “freedom day, along with all other coronavirus restrictions. The resident doctor was adamant the vaccine may not be resistant against new variants which could emerge and said face masks, as well as social distancing, was a way to continue protecting yourself and others.
“Dr Hilary, do you feel like it’s all good news?” Susanna Reid said. “Are we going to ditch the mask, we don’t have to stay distanced from each other, all from the 19th [July].”
“You know, Susanna, don’t you, experts are divided on this, completely divided just as the population are,” Dr Hilary replied.
“Look, in Australia, they’ve got a fraction of the cases we have and half the country’s in lockdown. Here we’re thinking of banning all restrictions and when we’ve got cases going up 74 percent in a week and 55 percent of hospitalisations are up in a week.”
“Hang on, we’ve got the vaccine!” Richard interrupted.
“Yes, that makes a difference, you’re absolutely right, we do have the vaccine,” Dr Hilary commented.
“What people forget is vaccination doesn’t give you 100 percent protection. 10 percent of people who have double jabs are still likely to get the virus.”
“Don’t you think – you’re using percentages to make the case here – that’s a bit misleading,” Richard remarked.
“Yes, percentage wise, the hospitalisations have gone up – I think 24 percent, that sounds a lot, but in real numbers it’s starting from a very low low, so in real numbers it’s not many.”
“Yes but it’s increasing,” those watching at home heard Dr Hilary argue.
“Well, it would, wouldn’t it?” Richard said and Dr Hilary continued: “So we’ve got millions of people who still haven’t been vaccinated, we’ve got a variant which is more transmissible and, as some experts have said, the more cases you have it is a factory to develop new variants.
“What if we get a new variant that comes along and is resistant to the vaccines we’ve currently used, the whole thing is out of the window.”
“What are you saying? That we shouldn’t have a freedom day on the 19th [July], you saying we should carry on as we are?” Richard asked.
“We’ve already got freedom, we’ve got a lot of freedom,” Dr Hilary replied.
“You’re saying carry on as we are?” Richard reiterated and Dr Hilary explained: “I’m saying people need to exercise restraint and if you’re going into somewhere with poor ventilation, to a crowded space, I think you’ve really got to be careful.”
The idea to ditch face masks sparked debate on social media.
One tweet said: “I will still be wearing mine, and social distance from others. The NHS is still under strain, so we still need to be careful and safe.”
“I think it’s too much too soon – yes ditch mandatory face mask but keep 2 meters space then at least we’re not all in everyone’s faces – I like the space,” another wrote.
However, someone else mentioned: “If we dont get rid of restrictions now that we have a vaccinated population then whats the point in the vaccine? we have to live with covid. vaccine reduces the risks. now time for personal responsibility to manage those risks. get rid of these restrictions now!”
“We need to learn to live with covid in the same way we do with everything else. The only way to do this is by getting rid of restrictions,” another chimed.
Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV.
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