James O'Brien examines why people are calling for Chris Whitty to resign

17 September 2020, 12:08 | Updated: 17 September 2020, 14:52

James O'Brien defends Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty

EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

With #SackWhitty trending on Twitter James examines why and looks at the danger of the "phenomenon of forelock-tugging and cap doffing" which "is now killing people."

Telling his LBC audience that he knows "twitter is not life" James O'Brien said he found "the fact that Chris Whitty is trending is actually very frightening."

He examined the idea that people who believe in conspiracy theories and others were now going to "go after the Chief Medical Officer."

"Remember when people were queuing up to tell me they understood the Good Friday agreement? And I didn't?"

James said at times he felt powerless when people said things that were "evidentially untrue," but of course until it happens "you can't prove that it's untrue."

"Here we are now with the Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty trending on social media because all of the anger that deep, deep, deep down people know they should be directing at the Prime Minister, at the Government, Dominic Cummings, whoever it may be.

"They have to find an outlet for it, and they can't find a way yet to blame it on brown people, so they're going to go after the Chief Medical Officer."

James ponders what's going to happen next

Earlier James said he found himself wondering what's going to happen next, warning "this phenomenon of forelock-tugging and cap doffing is now killing people."

"It has been killing people since March," James said.

He told the LBC audience that "the idea the politicians who delivered you your Brexit are beyond reproach, are infallible, you have to stay loyal, it's utterly heartbreaking."

James said he found himself wondering what were they going to next, "how are they going to be able to sustain support for an unbelievably busted flush."

Taking to Twitter, James said he saw the hashtag '#SackWhitty'.

Pointing out the nation is "heading towards a second lockdown, or at least a massive second wave and multiple local lockdowns."

"If you're trying to tug your forelock and doff your cap still towards Boris Johnson, and Jacob Rees-Mogg and co," James asked, "how the hell are you going to be able to process this one?"

He asked, "who are you going to start shouting at now?"

"There's your answer, the Chief Medical Officer."

The hashtag was trending on twitter due to a "mistake" as James pointed out.

A tweet which was incorrect was posted on Twitter on which later emerged to be incorrect.

Wednesday evening, Professor Anthony Costello, a former World Health Organisation director who sits on the independent Sage panel, said England's chief medical officer, Professor Chris Whitty, had asked for a national two-week lockdown.

Prof Costello tweeted: "I'm hearing from a well-connected person that government now thinks, in absence of testing, there are 38,000 infections per day.

"Chris Whitty is advising PM for a two-week national lockdown."

Prof Costello then tweeted: "I've been told by another insider I respect that Chris Whitty does not support a 2 week lockdown, so I'm pleased to correct the record."

But, as James said, by then the tweet was "halfway around the world" but it was "too late" and everyone was "calling for the Chief Medical Officer to be fired."

He said the alternative was that "maybe Boris Johnson is a bit of a joke."

Which the LBC presenter added could have implications for those who voted for Brexit.

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