'The obsession with opening up the economy again ignores Covid reality'

28 October 2020, 14:04

By Sam Sholli

This is the moment a James O'Brien caller argued the UK's "obsession with opening up the economy again" means it's ignoring the reality of the threat posed by coronavirus.

Claire in Hackney made the comment as the Government's scientific advisers have warned Boris Johnson that Britain faces a second wave of coronavirus more deadly than the first.

The Prime Minister is under growing pressure to impose tougher curbs after daily Covid-linked deaths hit their highest level since May, with the UK’s total toll thought to have topped 60,000.

Claire told LBC: "If you look at New Zealand...and in every place where they've contained this virus, they've locked down locally.

"The whole problem with what's happened in the UK and across Europe is this obsession with opening up the economy again.

"Now I understand completely the problems about the economy, but the virus was never completely eliminated across Europe and in the UK."

James responded: "I think you're right and I think the idea that we could somehow balance the two is probably going to lose weight as we move forward."

The LBC presenter then asked Claire what people had to gain by claiming the Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty is "deliberately misleading" the British public.

Claire replied: "For them, they want their lives to go back to normal, the economy to open."

"They don't look at the facts correctly, they don't understand what exponential growth means properly, they don't think about the deaths and they want their old lives back.

"So it's an emotional, bigoted response because they don't look at reality."