"You're more likely to die on a bicycle than from Covid-19" Iain Duncan Smith

19 July 2020, 10:21

Iain Duncan Smith addresses "hysteria" around initial lockdown

By Seán Hickey

The government's messaging has made people believe they are at equal risk of dying from coronavirus when it isn't the case, Sir Iain Duncan Smith says.

The former leader of the Conservative Party and MP for Chingford and Woodford Green was reflecting on Boris Johnson's statement that the UK will not go back into a national lockdown if there are upticks in coronavirus cases.

Andrew Castle asked Sir Iain for his view on the news, where he said that "the message the Prime Minister is sending now is at last the right message."

"We simply don't want to go back into a national lockdown and people therefore need to recognise what the real level of risk is." Sir Iain said. He went on to address his view of the government's communication strategy during lockdown.

"The messaging throughout has made everyone believe that they were equal risk of dying from Covid-19 and that's simply not the case." Sir Iain backed up his case by reminding Andrew that the Chief Medical Officer admitted "the vast vast majority of the population will not die or be affected by Covid-19."

Sir Iain argued that the "general hysteria" around Covid-19 has skewed the public&squot;s reasoning
Sir Iain argued that the "general hysteria" around Covid-19 has skewed the public's reasoning. Picture: PA

"Pubic Health England's assessment of the figures is likely to be way out because what they've done" he went on, putting the case forward that counting coronavirus deaths has been very liberal.

He stated that if someone tested positive for coronavirus and "then died later on...they'd go down as a Covid-19 death even if they were knocked down by a bus."

He was certain that there has been a "general hysteria" around the way the UK approached information on the virus, especially the likelihood of a person dying from Covid-19.

"Only 4% of those who have died have died without any known co-morbidity" Sir Iain said, pointing out that people are far more likely to die from the virus if they have an underlying health condition.

"If you're under forty you're more likely to die by getting on a bicycle than you are by having Covid, so we need to get the balance of risks right" Sir Iain told Andrew.

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