The health secretary said he has been sleeping just fine over the past few months, despite widespread criticism over the government’s handling of the pandemic.
Matt Hancock said he manages to sleep at night because he wakes up every morning and does his ‘best’. Although the health secretary admitted that he and his colleagues ‘don’t get all the decisions right’ he manages to bat off criticism and get a good night’s sleep.
During an interview on ITV’s This Morning, Holly Willoughby asked Hancock if he is ‘exhausted’, highlighting that his work in tackling the pandemic is ‘not the kind of thing that you can just go home, and go to sleep, and not think about’.
The health secretary responded: ‘Well, I actually am sleeping okay. I don’t get much time off, but the reason that’s okay is because I get up in the morning, I do everything I possibly can.
‘I try to make the best judgement and balancing all these things – the impact on the economy, the impact on health – and then I go to bed and then I wake up in the morning and I do my best.
‘Of course we don’t get all the decisions right but so long as you’re doing your best in the national interest and just concentrating on that and aiming off all the brick bats that you get, that people like to throw at me, then that’s what allows me to sleep at night.’
The comments come as Hancock and his colleagues have faced backlash for a shortage of tests across the country, as infection rates continue to surge.
People across the country are being turned away from test centres and are unable to order kits online, while schools have only been given 10 tests per institution. One hospital in Bolton said it had seen queues of up to 100 people queuing in A&E to get swabbed.
Hancock admitted there has been ‘a problem’ and can ‘totally understand how frustrating that is’ but did not expand on the reason behind the shortage. He said No 10 reached a record high number of tests carried out yesterday.
The health secretary was also positive that a vaccine, or a ‘cavalry’ as he described it, could be available by the end of the year.
He said: ‘We’re talking about, for the mass role out, the first bit of next year if all goes well. Hopefully, in first few months.
‘There is still a chance of it coming on stream before Christmas but we’ve then got to roll it out. And the first people who will get it are the most vulnerable – people in care homes, old people.
‘For it to have an impact on how we live our lives, we’re talking about the start of next year. The progress is going okay but safely as she goes – we can’t rely on that as there is always a risk with vaccinations.’
When asked if the public will be able to ‘hug our grandparents’ this Christmas, Hancock said he wants to make the festive season ‘as normal as possible’ but that ‘means making these decisions now’.
Hancock spoke ahead of No 10’s top scientists revealing how virus transmission rates are rising ‘exponentially’ and are doubling every seven days, with Professor Chris Whitty warning that the ‘seasons are against us’.
The prime minister is expected to make an announcement on further restrictions being imposed on Tuesday, with ministers considering a two-week ‘circuit-breaker lockdown’, a ban on households mixing and a pub curfew.
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