Phillip Schofield fumes ‘let us cope with this’ as Pro Whitty warns of future restrictions01/06/2021
Phillip Schofield criticises Whitty for predicting 2021 lockdown
This Morning presenter Phillip Schofield, 58, said Professor Chris Whitty, 54, should hold off telling people about more potential restrictions so soon and as he urged him to take it one step at a time and consider people’s current issues. The host shared his thoughts during a live discussion with co-star Holly Willoughby and guests Julia Hartley-Brewer and journalist Andrew Neil on the show today.
In the latest press conference, Chris predicted the UK could face more tough restrictions next winter.
He warned: “We shouldn’t kid ourselves [that] this just disappears with spring.
“If we did not do all the things all of us must now do, if people don’t take the stay at home seriously, the risk at this point in time, in the middle of winter with this new variant, is extraordinarily high.”
He went on to say the level of risk will gradually decrease, with measures being “lifted by degrees possibly at different rates in different parts of the country”.
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“We might have to bring in a few next winter for example,” he added. “That’s possible, because winter will benefit the virus.”
He added: “The aim of this is to de-risk it as much as possible by the vaccine to the point where we get to the stage where the risk is incredibly low, relative to where we are now, just as we do with flu where every year an average of about 7,000 people die, in a bad year up to 20,000 die – we accept there is a level of risk that society will tolerate.”
Discussing the Chief Medical Officer’s comments today, Phillip said: “I watched the press conference last night, and I have a great deal of admiration for that team and what they are doing behind the scenes and the fact this is all a work in progress.
“But I did think last night, do you know what Chris – and once again I have the great admiration for you – I didn’t need to know that.
“You’ve got to manage the bad news, we are dealing with lockdown now and all the mental health issues, the financial issues that that brings.”
He continued: “Let us cope with this before you tell us that next winter, there may still be problems.
“Tell us later, after the summer, ‘Ooh this may be creeping back again’, don’t give it to us all in one go.”
Guest Andrew added: “I tell you who isn’t a ray of sunshine, that is Professor Chris Whitty.
“Just as we are getting our heads around this lockdown and having some hope towards Easter or at least the summer, he then comes out and says Britain might have to reintroduce coronavirus measures next winter too.”
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The discussion comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced a new lockdown last weekend.
Mr Johnson urged the nation to stay at home as the new coronavirus variant was spreading at a “frustrating and alarming” speed.
He continued to warn that with the new variant, judged at being around 70 per cent more transmissible, “you are much, much more likely to catch the virus and pass it on”.
“As I speak to you tonight, our hospitals are under more pressure from COVID than at any time since the start of the pandemic,” he added in a press conference.
At the time of his announcement, there had been a near 25 per cent increase in the number of deaths in the past week, compared to the previous week.
It is expected the new lockdown in England will last until March, depending on the figures at that time.
The Prime Minister went on to express his hopes of an estimated 14 million people being offered the first dose of a vaccine by the middle of February.
This Morning airs weekdays from 10am on ITV.
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