Published: 11:12, 09 June 2020
| Updated: 13:39, 09 June 2020
Piers Morgan says a Kent MP has "no idea about anything" after she endured yet another difficult TV interview this morning.
Helen Whately appeared to say she could blame scientists for the huge number of Covid-19 care home deaths, before failing to produce figures regarding new quarantine measures, during an interview with Sky's Kay Burley.
Mr Morgan, angry at a boycott of his programme Good Morning Britain by Tory ministers, played a clip of the interview on his phone before blasting the Faversham MP as "utterly useless".
In the exchange with Ms Burley, Ms Whately was asked how many people were placed in quarantine yesterday - the first day of new measures which see those arriving in the UK sequestered for a period of 14-days.
But Mrs Whately responded: "I don't have the data you're asking for."
Asked why not, she added: "Because I'm a health minister with oversight of care homes and the NHS workforce...There is a policy of quarantining arrivals in this country, and the reason we're doing it is because it's so important to us to keep infection down."
But Ms Burley responded: "Given that it's so important you should know how many people have been quarantined. I'm sorry minister - you can't come on the show without knowing the facts."
Piers Morgan called Mrs Whately's response "classic" as he played it on Good Morning Britain.
Blasting the MP, he added: "She's the care minister who had no idea how many were dying in care homes, no idea how many health workers were dying.
"She now has no idea how many people are being quarantined. I think we establish, Helen Whately, you have no idea about anything. You're a member of the cabinet!"
During the same interview with Kay Burley, Mrs Whately appeared to say she could blame scientists for a huge number of care home deaths, before backtracking.
Pointing out that more than half of Covid-19-related deaths have taken place in care homes, Ms Burley said: "You've got it wrong, as far as care homes were concerned, discharging elderly people from hospital into care homes without being tested.
"We did know from the get-go that the elderly were more susceptible. Why did we not wrap them in cotton wool?"
She then pointed to a letter sent to care providers by NHS England and the government on March 10, ordering "the safe and rapid discharge of those people who no longer need to be in a hospital bed...without testing", to help free up hospital capacity.
Mrs Whately defended this as "a clinical judgement about what would be in the clinical interest of people", taken after following scientific advice.
But Ms Burley said: "You take their advice and then you make the policy. You can't stick this on the scientists."
To which Mrs Whately responded "well I can," before stammering "no, no, no, that's not what I mean to say."
"You just said that!" exclaimed Ms Burley. "I said you can't stick this on the scientists and you said you can. I didn't put that in your mouth - you said it."
Mrs Whately was approached by KentOnline, but declined to comment.
More by this authorLydia Chantler-Hicks
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