Health Secretary Matt Hancock snapped at Trevor Philips during a clash between the pair on Sky News this morning over the decision to ban travel from India. Mr Hancock disputed Mr Philips’ claim that the data avaialble at the time should have been enough to put India on the red list. However, the Health Secretary hit back at this, claiming that he would not let the Sky News presenter “get away” with “wrong” data.
Mr Hancock said: “Hindsight is very helpful. But you have to take decisions you have at the time and you can’t ask anybody to take decisions with information that isn’t yet in your hands even if you’d like to predict the future.”
Mr Philips responded: “I’m just reading information you had at the time – but let’s deal with something that you’re dealing with this week.
“Are you worried that we are going to look like we don’t care about the rest of world because we are going to extend the vaccination programme down the age range here when, for example, in Africa only 2.5 percent have been vaccinated and we could be giving more stocks now?”
Mr Hancock hit back: “I’m going to answer this question but first I’m afraid you can’t get away with making a comment on my previous answer and then just moving on when the comment was wrong.
“The information that you’ve been talking about was not available to ministers at that time. That is why we took those decisions.”
He added that the latest advice is the Indian or Delta variant is around 40 percent more transmissible.
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