‘Stick it on scientists?!’ Helen Whately suffers car crash interview with Sky’s Kay Burley

‘Stick it on scientists?!’ Helen Whately suffers car crash interview with Sky’s Kay Burley

The Tory minister defended the decision to discharge elderly people from hospitals almost immediately, usually without testing, in a bid to free up beds. “As we have learned more about the virus we have updated those infection control guidance, we have taken more steps, we have done the social care action plan,” she said.

She added: “At all points in this we have followed the scientific guidance.”

To which Ms Burley replied: “And then you make the policy – you take (scientists’) advice and then you make the policy – you can’t stick this on the scientists.

The MP responded: “But I can, because…”

Shocked, the Sky News host blasted: “You can stick it on the scientists?”

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In an attempt to backtrack on her statement, Ms Whately replied: “No, no, no – that is not what I mean to say.”

Ms Burley said: “You just said you can stick this on the scientists – either you can or you can’t.”

Ms Whatley replied: “To be clear, that is your words.”

Ms Burley said: “I said ‘You can’t stick this on the scientists’ and you said you can – I didn’t put those words in your mouth.”

She told BBC Breakfast that getting children back to school is “not easy”, adding: “Asking children to social distance for instance is not a straightforward thing to do.”

Ms Whately, who has two children in primary school, said the public will hear more later from Education Secretary Gavin Williamson “about the plans over the coming weeks”.

She said the Government does not want to take risks that might increase the infection rate, but is also mindful of the disadvantages of children not being in school, adding that the aim is to “get the balance right between those things”.

Ms Whately said getting children back to school is “not something that is easily done”, adding: “We must of course be listening to the teachers and the head teachers who are having to do this in practice.”

Published at Tue, 09 Jun 2020 09:13:00 +0000