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During the Today Programme Ms Husain grilled Mr Gove on comments made by the Health Secretary, that she claimed pointed the finger at young people. The Conservative MP defended Matt Hancock’s comments, stating that he was encouraging people to recognise the risks certain behaviours could bring during the pandemic.
Mr Gove said: “We look at the evidence and we respond empirically and then we adopt the changes designed in order to balance respect for liability, respect for economic activity but above all recognition that public health comes first.”
The BBC host replied: “There has been finger pointing, Matt Hancock told young people to be mindful not to kill their gran, so the finger has been pointed.
“He did say that so we can just take that as read.”
The Conservative MP responded: “I think there is a difference between issuing warning and encouraging people to recognise risks.”
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Ms Husain said: “This is what I asked you earlier and you didn’t answer it, so I am coming back to it.
“Imagine that people do not have common sense, are two couples who go out for dinner together, is that an unnecessary link between households?”
Mr Gove replied: “No because one of the points we made clear is that table service in restaurants can be entirely appropriate and is consistent.”
Yesterday during an urgent coronavirus briefing on Monday the Chief Medical Officer for England outlined several ways the COVID-19 virus will harm the population’s health as he issued a plea to Britons to follow the latest social distancing rules.
Chris Whitty said: “There are four ways in which this virus is going to have a potentially significant effect on the population’s health if we let it go out of control.
“Firstly, the easiest to identify is direct COVID deaths, people that get the virus and die of the virus.
“The second would be if the NHS and emergency services were overwhelmed by a huge spike.
“That is what the extraordinary efforts of the population stopped from happening in the first wave.
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“The third however is very important and I think its importance should not be understated which is if the NHS is having to spend a large proportion of its efforts in trying to treat COVID cases, it will lead to a reduction in treatment for other areas such as early diagnoses for disease and for prevention programmes.
“So there is an indirect effect on deaths and on illness from this impact on the NHS if we allow the numbers to raise fast.”
Prof Whitty continued: “On the other side we know that some of the things we have had to do will cause significant problems in the economy, social impacts, impacts on mental health and therefore all of society has to walk this very difficult balance.
“If we do too little this virus will go out of control and we will get significant numbers of direct and indirect deaths.
“But if we go too far the other way we can cause damage to the economy which can feed through to unemployment and poverty which have long term health effects.”
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