Matt Hancock was asked why he hasn't resigned as Health secretary yet by Piers Morgan during a 21 minute interview on Good Morning Britain.
Matt Hancock was asked why he hasn’t resigned as Health secretary yet by Piers Morgan during a 21 minute interview on Good Morning Britain ending a 201 day boycott of the TV presenter by the Conservatives in the process.
Matt Hancock grilled on GMB
No10 Director of Communications Lee Cain had severed communications with Good Morning Britain but his resignation alongside that of Boris Johnson’s senior aide Dominic Cummings means that interviews with GMB have resumed.
Instead of focusing on current news, Piers Morgan went over all the questions he hadn’t been able to ask about the first wave of Covid.
The aggressive presenter said there was too little PPE which led to hundreds of deaths amongst NHS staff. He also mentioned that care homes took in Covid infected patients from hospitals, that UK borders weren’t closed, that masks weren’t initially deemed to be useful, and that ministers carried on shaking hands in the early stages of the pandemic.
Further to this, he condemned Matt Hancock for giving mass gatherings the green light way back in March and commented that the first lockdown was put into place “at least two weeks too late”.
Morgan accused the government of stopping community testing as they followed an unofficial strategy of “herd immunity”, an accusation which has been strenuously denied. Piers Morgan said: “I put it to you, given that we now have over 50,000 deaths in this country, which is the worst death toll in the whole of Europe, why are you still Health Secretary and why haven’t you offered your resignation?”
Matt Hancock hit back: “Well, because we’ve been building the response to all of these enormous challenges of this unprecedented pandemic. On testing, we’ve hit each of the targets that I set – half a million tests a day capacity now. And I’m here to tell you we’re going to double that over the next few months. That means we can use testing in order to find where the virus is and crucially we’ve got those turnaround times down and people can isolate if needed.”
The GMB presenter continued with his interrogation of the Health Secretary stating: “We’ve had a constant series of failures and U-turns throughout this year. Are you prepared to admit to any mistakes of the charge sheet I read out?”
Matt Hancock responded: “Sure, of course we’ve made mistakes, absolutely. I’ll give you one – when we first put out the guidance for instance for funerals in the first peak, it was interpreted as being so tight that even your spouse couldn’t go to the funeral of someone who died with coronavirus. Now, that was wrong and we changed it. So absolutely we’ve been learning about the science.”
Piers Morgan’s co-host, Susanna Reid, asked the Health Secretary why patients who were leaving hospital for care homes were not tested in the first wave. He admitted: “The advice was that there wouldn’t be asymptomatic transmission. And now that we know when we discovered that can happen, we brought in the rules for care homes.”