TORY health and social care minister Helen Whately is facing criticism after attempting to blame scientists for Covid-19 care home deaths then backtracking during a Sky News interview.
Speaking to Kay Burley this morning, the MP defended discharging elderly hospital patients into care homes without testing them.
READ MORE: Question Time: Helen Whately ‘bewildered’ during appearance
Whately, whose recent Question Time appearance also sparked anger when she struggled to explain self-isolation guidelines and suggested we need to “move on” from mourning Covid-19 deaths, insisted the UK Government has “followed the scientific guidance” when it comes to the pandemic.
Me: “You can’t stick this on the scientists.”
Health Minister @Helen_Whately: “Well I can.”
The minister quickly backtracks after initially blaming scientists for mistakes made in managing #Coronavirus in care homes. MR#KayBurley pic.twitter.com/lPOQmCFRM7
— Kay Burley (@KayBurley) June 9, 2020
Burley replied: “And then you make the policy – you take their advice and you make the policy. You can’t stick this on the scientists.”
The minister told her: “Well I can.”
The journalist was astounded by the MP’s response and challenged her, before Whately said it was “not what I meant to say”.
READ MORE: Question Time: Helen Whately shocks viewers with ‘move on’ claim
During the first few weeks of lockdown Whately appeared in a “car-crash” Piers Morgan interview in which she struggled to provide details on the number of coronavirus care home deaths.
Following a number of tricky interviews on Good Morning Britain, the UK Government has now banned ministers from appearing on the programme for about six weeks.
In a move designed to shut down scrutiny, the govt has banned ministers from appearing on @GMB for a month-&-half, but that doesn’t stop @piersmorgan & @susannareid100 analysing their performances on other channels.
Here’s their review of @Helen_Whately’s @SkyNews interview. pic.twitter.com/dUZETJuxaS
— Stefan Simanowitz (@StefSimanowitz) June 9, 2020
Despite this, Morgan has been playing clips of ministers doing their media rounds from his phone and commenting on their performances.
Whately was included in Morgan’s review this morning. Speaking on her lack of knowledge on the number of people who have been ordered to self-isolate as part of England’s contact tracing programme, the presenter said: “How did she ever get to be care minister? Not being funny but she doesn’t seem to know anything about anything.”