Matt Hancock has faced a lot of criticism lately – from saying that ‘only 36’ people died in one day last week, to his about-turns on the UK’s contact tracing app.
This week, the UK government has said that the UK will be changing course on contact tracing. For the last couple of weeks, the UK has been trialling a contact tracing app, the NHSX app, on the Isle of Wight.
After several stops and starts – such as issues with battery usage, Bluetooth and measuring distance between people – yesterday, Matt Hancock confirmed at the daily Downing Street Covid-19 briefing that the NHS would be working with Apple and Google to combine their systems.
He then went on to say that the government couldn’t confirm a date that the contact tracing app would be ready by. Then he said,
“But I am confident we will get there – we will put that cherry on Dido’s cake.”
Matt Hancock - "We will put that cherry on Dido's cake." #Cringe 🤢 https://t.co/E1aZYrhvcX
The Dido he is referring to is Baroness Dido Harding, the woman heading up the UK’s contact tracing app (not the Dido of white flag fame, unfortunately). She was formerly the head of Talk Talk during a massive data breach.
But people didn’t really know how to react.
"I am confident we will get there - we will put that cherry on Dido's cake," #MattHancock #TrackandTrace https://t.co/NI3Xg9rdgR
Part of the confusion may be down to the fact that Hancock couldn’t really give a straight answer about why the test and trace app wasn’t working, even after months of us being told it was – and instead of clarifying, he went and added a weird metaphor into the mix and confused everyone even more.