Robert Peston hit out at Matt Hancock during the coronavirus daily update for not “trusting” the British people. Mr Peston accused the Health Secretary of not providing a clear exit strategy out of the nationwide lockdown. However, he was slammed online by viewers who branded his questions “arrogant and aggressive”.
The ITV journalist asked: “The data seems to indicate that we are either at or passed the peak of this phase of the epidemic.
“In countries where that is so like Spain, Italy, Austria and Denmark, they’re already talking about how and when they will ease the lockdown.
“What is it about the British people that means you can’t trust them, you feel, to continue to isolate if you just talk about when the end of this will be?”
Mr Hancock shot back that this is “too early” to make changes and that everyone can “play their part” by staying at home.
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Peston shut down over peak claims ‘You can’t trust British people!’
Peston was criticised online for his accusation.
Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty also answered: “Our view is that the peak is probably hitting now overall, that’s what the flattening shows.
“My expectation for new data coming out tomorrow is that the number of deaths will go up.
“I think it’s very important we don’t say ‘look at the numbers of deaths, that means we’ve passed the peak’.
“We do all think that this is flattened out, sadly we do think that high numbers of deaths will continue for a short while.”
“I’m watching the briefing and cannot believe Peston arrogant and aggressive questions.”
One Twitter user wrote: “I think they just cut Peston off from asking any more questions on the daily news briefing, not surprising since he seems to think it’s his own show.”
Another said: “Matt Hancock patiently tells Robert Peston that different countries are at different stages. Viewers understand this already.”
Another added: “I’m watching the briefing and cannot believe Peston arrogant and aggressive questions. He is sneering and pejorative in his choice of words and a disgrace to his profession. Full marks to Matt Hancock for containing his contempt.”
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UK ON LOCKDOWN
During the briefing, Mr Hancock repeated the “core” of the Government’s plan to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed.
Currently 98,476 people have tested positive for coronavirus in the UK.
Of those confirmed cases in hospitals around the country, more than 12,000 have now died.
A total of 398,916 tests nationwide have been conducted.
The Health Secretary is aiming to reach 100,000 a day by the end of the month.