The pair clashed over whether the UK entered lockdown early enough.
Piers compared us to New Zealand and Ireland, wondering why Britain’s coronavirus death toll is so high.
As the UK’s COVID-19 death toll passes 10,000, experts claim the UK could become the worst-hit country in Europe.
Today Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid probed Dr Hilary on the government’s response to the pandemic.
Asking why the UK didn’t lockdown earlier, the doctor replied: “If we had gone into lockdown when the UK only had a handful of cases, I don’t think people would have tolerated that. We’d have had more people flouting the rules.”
Piers reiterated: “Again I ask why? We knew what was happening in other countries, in particular Italy. ”
“This is a case of we know what is going on, right on our doorstop in Europe, why was that not ringing enough alarm bells for the government?”
“As it is now we are likely to end up far worse than Italy. The stats don’t lie.”
Dr Hilary continued: “Do you think our society was ready to go into lockdown?”
Airports remain open
Piers Morgan feels Boris Johnson should have locked the UK down much earlier, after seeing the situation in nearby countries.
He also praised the Prime Minister of New Zealand: “She hasn’t been politely requesting people do stuff, she locked the borders of New Zealand, stopped all flights coming in and out.”
“All our airports are still open, no one can give me a good explanation why this happening. We don’t quarantine people when they come off the planes. We don’t test them. People just wander in. From China, from Italy, from New York. ”
Piers contiued: ” I can only draw one conclusion…the government want people to get this.”
Dr Hilary explained how Italy tried to test people on entry to the country, this didn’t work as it did not pick up people who were asymptomatic.
He also went on the say that the UK could not be fairly compared to New Zealand as their population is much lower.
Piers interrupted the medic: “They have 5 million, we have 65 million. We’ve had 10,000 deaths, they have had four. I’m not the best mathematician but I can still see what position we are in.”
The presenter also pointed out that Ireland could be compared the UK. He felt Ireland’s earlier and stricter lockdown has led to less cases of COVID-19.
‘I think every country in the world during this global pandemic can look back and say we made mistakes.’@piersmorgan, @susannareid100 and @DrHilaryJones discuss the government’s reaction to the coronavirus pandemic. pic.twitter.com/XzjPD7BbfD
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) April 13, 2020
Piers Morgan continued to rant and interrupt Dr Hilary during the passionate segment.
“When the World Health Organisation declared this a global pandemic, what was this country doing? We were opening Cheltenham Festival.”
Dr Hilary agreed that this and other large gatherings were a “mistake.”
“Lockdown could have occurred a week or two weeks earlier, but would people have adhered to it?”
Susanna Reid sided with the resident doctor: “Without a vaccine aren’t we in lockdown indefinitely? If you go into lockdown too early people will resist it.”
Dr Hilary explained that lockdown reduces the spread of coronavirus but it is still out in the community. People can still catch COVID-19, the risk is just lessened.
Piers did not concede and ended by saying: ” The countries who are coming out of lockdown all follow the pattern that they started their lockdown earlier.”
Those watching at home were left divided by encounter. Many Good Morning Britain fans sided with Dr Hilary Jones, while others felt Piers was “bang on the money.”
One viewer said: “Thanks for some balance Dr Hilary Jones. Long needed in my opinion.”
Another tweet read: “Piers could’ve should’ve would’ve Morgan. Unprecedented once in a century crisis, Government are trying hard as are all the others, obviously mistakes will have been made. ”
Another accused the GMB host of speaking over Dr Hilary: “Piers please let Hillary speak. Why ask him and not let him answer? Everyone should have a voice.”
Dr Hilary. Please tell Piers Morgan to stop talking over your answers. If not just go as he seems to know the answers to what he is asking.
— Duncan Munro (@DuncanMunro14) April 13, 2020
However, many agreed with the controversial presenter’s opinion on the coronavirus lockdown.
One said: “Mr Morgan can I just say that most sensible people wanted an earlier lockdown and we would still like a tighter lockdown announced today”
Another agreed: “Whilst our tube trains are full, and whilst people can walk out of an airport unchecked then a lockdown is pointless. Time for us to wake up, it’s either all or nothing, let’s shut it all down now.”
A final Twitter user added: “I don’t agree with a lot of what @piersmorgan says but he is bang on the money, the handling of this has been appalling, everything he is saying is true, how can we still have airports open?”.
Good Morning Britain is on ITV, weekdays at 6am
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