/Andrew Neil hits out at Matt Hancock over over-70s lockdown attack – Clearly implied!

Andrew Neil hits out at Matt Hancock over over-70s lockdown attack – Clearly implied!

The Health Secretary tweeted an image of the front page of today’s Sunday Times and referred to a headline that read, “Set free healthy over seventies, say doctors”. Mr Hancock then demanded the paper make a correction as he said it assumed the had set a blanket ban on the over 70s from leaving their own homes. 

Mr Hancock said: “Sad to see another factually wrong and misleading article on p1 of the Sunday Times.

“The clinically vulnerable, who are advised to stay in lockdown for 12 weeks, emphatically DO NOT include all over 70s.

“I’ve asked for an urgent correction.”

But, in response to Mr Hancock’s twitter demand, Mr Neil tweeted: “But government website, in listing what it means by “clinically vulnerable people”, begins:

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Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (Image: GETTY)

“1. Aged 70 or over (regardless of medical condition).”

The Government website does indeed state the clinically vulnerable include the over 70s, regardless of medical conditions.

On Twitter Mr Hancock was challenged on his response to the Sunday Times headline.

One user said: “Hang on. Johnson clearly implied ALL over 70s.”

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Andrew Neil and Matt Hancock

Andrew Neil and Matt Hancock (Image: GETTY)

Health Secretary Matt Hancock

Health Secretary Matt Hancock (Image: GETTY)

Mr Hancock then commented: “We have strongly advised all over 70s to follow social distancing measures.

“However, there is no blanket ban, and the suggestion that the clinically vulnerable include people aged 70 or older regardless of medical conditions is wrong and deeply misleading.”

The main piece of evidence that the Government is relying on to inform them on the severity of the disease for the over 70s is a report from Imperial College London.

The report was compiled by a group of researchers form Imperial College London’s COVID-19 Response Team.

They took research from the coronavirus situation in China and Italy and have applied these to the situation the UK currently faces.

As COVID-19 is a very new disease, the science on how it works is still emerging, so there are lots of things that we aren’t certain of.

However, the team at Imperial College have looked at the data from China and Italy and announced that the risk of hospitalisation increases with age.

For people under the age of 50 the risk is less than 5 percent, or 1 in 20.

For people aged 70 and over the risk is greater than 20 percent.

Around one in four people aged 70 and over who have symptoms of Covid-19 will need to be admitted to hospital.

Original Source