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9 Jun, 2020 11:11

UK Health minister says she CAN blame Covid-19 care-home deaths on scientists, in ‘car crash’ interview (VIDEO)

UK Health minister says she CAN blame Covid-19 care-home deaths on scientists, in ‘car crash’ interview (VIDEO)

UK Health minister Helen Whately attempted to backtrack after saying in a calamitous TV interview that she “can” blame scientists for a Covid-19 policy that saw hospital patients discharged back into care homes without testing.

During the interview, with Sky News on Tuesday morning, presenter Kay Burley challenged Whately on the UK government’s policy of freeing up hospital beds earlier in the epidemic to ease pressure on the country’s National Health Service (NHS). 

Whately – who is the minister for social care– insisted that the government had followed “scientific guidance as to what is the right thing to do” at “all points.” It prompted Burley to point out that ministers take scientific advice and then policy is made, adding: “you can’t stick this on the scientists.”

A rather defiant Whately fired back: “Well, well I can,” before very quickly trying to backtrack after realising she’d made a horrific blunder.

Unfortunately for the UK minister, her attempts to blame the interviewer for her own gaffe were ostensibly ridiculed by Burley, who gleefully replied: “You just said ‘I can stick this on the scientists’.”

Whately’s performance was widely derided on social media, with many suggesting that the 44-year-old MP for Faversham and Mid Kent was out of her depth on an issue that is part of her remit as social care minister.

One commenter described it as a “car crash of an interview.” Another said: “I almost feel sorry for her – she’s utterly abysmal.” 

Others hit out at her seemingly lack of interview preparation, with one person suggesting that the only thing she did to get ready for being questioned on coronavirus was “to put on her Care badge.”

Many leading health professionals have attributed the large number of coronavirus cases in care homes to the decision to send elderly patients back into the community without knowing if they had the deadly disease. The latest government figures suggest that 12,739 care home residents have died from the disease so far – 29.1 percent of the UK’s entire death toll.

Also on rt.com ‘Not worthy of a test?’: UK family unable to find closure after beloved grandma dies in care home during Covid-19 pandemic

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