Tory MPs urge BBC to stop ‘scaring viewers from living their normal lives’ with daily Covid figures
- MPs have urged BBC to stop sharing daily Covid stats and ‘frightening’ people
- Sir Iain Duncan Smith said it meant even vaccinated people were ‘scared of life’
- It comes after several scientists have called on the UK to scrap the daily updates
MPs have urged the BBC to stop broadcasting daily coronavirus statistics in its news bulletins and stop ‘frightening’ people from living their lives.
Former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith said flagging the regular Covid statistics meant even fully vaccinated people were ‘scared of normal life’.
The Conservative MP said last night: ‘The vaccines are really good at stopping hospitalisation and death, yet every night we report the infection rate – why?
‘Why does the BBC throw over every single bit of data, when Covid is about sixth on the death toll? Can we have the death toll for pneumonia while we’re at it?
Former Tory party leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith (pictured) said flagging the regular Covid statistics meant even fully vaccinated people were ‘scared of normal life’
‘Cancer, heart disease, liver problems? Why are we continuing with the Covid stuff on the BBC and the main news channels? It frightens people.
‘Older people are still asking, ‘Are we allowed to hug now?’ Even when they have had all the jabs.
‘We have people who are now scared of normal life.’
The Chingford and Woodford Green MP added: ‘We certainly don’t do it for flu, and we don’t do it for cancer.
‘Either we go the whole hog and every night publish a list of how you’re going to die, or not at all. Covid isn’t the major reason for death.’
Richard Holden, the Conservative MP for North West Durham, added: ‘The context is incredibly important for all of this. Only presenting Covid stats is odd in a situation where there are clearly long-term implications for other illnesses.’
Richard Holden (pictured), the Tory MP for North West Durham, said the context was important as ‘only presenting Covid stats is odd’ when there are ‘implications for other illnesses’
Several scientists have called on the UK to scrap the daily updates.
In June, Professor Robert Dingwall, who sits on the Government’s Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, said it was time to stop ‘obsessively’ publishing daily Covid stats.
He tweeted: ‘It is well past time to panic about infection rates and to publish them obsessively.
‘Even hospitalisation rates are increasingly misleading as better therapy reduces length of stay. Covid is now a long way from being an important cause of mortality.’
Professor Tim Spector, of King’s College London, has also called for context to the Covid figures, which he said could be published alongside the data for illnesses such as flu, heart disease and cancer.
He added that, on their own, the Covid statistics were ‘scaremongering’.
Professor Tony Brookes, a health data scientist at Leicester University, said of the daily publication of Covid case numbers: ‘It is clearly motivated to promote fear to keep people compliant.’