Speaking on Good Morning Britain, the TV doctor assuaged any doubts that lockdown and other coronavirus restrictions were not needed, and accused the landlord of being “ageist” for suggesting the excess deaths of people in their 80s were not important.
He said: “With the greatest respect, Rod, I think you should stick to pulling pints rather than advising the government about policy on the biggest pandemic and public health issue for the last 100 years.
“In India right now 270,000 people a day are coming down with Covid-19, Brazil 852 children under the age of 9 have died from Covid in the last six weeks and 518 of them were under one years old. Babies are dying of Covid.
“If we ignore a pandemic, if we say lockdown doesn’t work, how do you think this spreads in the first place? It’s person to person contact. And if you look at all the countries that locked down earlier and had more sustained lockdown, they’ve had better health outcomes and better economies.”
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His comments come after landlord Rod Humphris confronted Starmer in his pub The Raven in Bath yesterday. Humphris accused the leader of the opposition of not holding the government to account and said he should have opposed lockdowns for the sake of the economy.
He also cited misleading statistics and said that as the majority of deaths occur in those over the age of 83, lockdown was not worth considering.
Starmer told Humphris that he “profoundly disagreed” with him and Humphris was held back by security shouting “get out of my pub”.
And now, following a statement from the Labour Party claiming Humphris was spreading “dangerous misinformation”, Dr Hilary has further shown why Humphris’ view is categorically wrong.
He added: “It’s very simple, look at every peak that we’ve had, what happened when we had a peak of 1200 deaths a day? We went into lockdown, and the numbers came down. It’s very simple, you have to have lockdown in a pandemic that kills people.
“If you’re saying that at 83 it doesn’t matter if you die, you’re saying that people like Prince Philip - the last 16 years of his life were meaningless and worthless. We can’t allow that to happen you can’t be that ageist.”
People on Twitter agreed with the TV Doctor and said so:
But responding to Dr Hilary, Humphris - who is also a fiction writer - continued to falsely claim there was no link between falling deaths and lockdowns.
Although curiously, in an interview about one if his novels in November, Humphris said the lockdown period had been “good”.
“The world retreated for a while and I could dive into the current book with fewer interruptions than usual,” he said.
We suppose he’s changed his mind.