The pair butted heads on yesterday’s Good Morning Britain over whether lockdown restrictions should be lifted on June 21.
On today’s episode, hosts Richard and Susanna Reid were discussing the Government’s science advisors and their suggestions that lifting of measures should be delayed for a couple of weeks amid fears of different coronavirus variants.
‘Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Vallance – what did you call them Richard?’ Susanna began, as her co-star laughed: ‘The Chuckle Brothers!’
The camera panned to an awkward Dr Hilary as she went on: ‘They have given a very downbeat briefing suggesting that the latest data is fairly grim and that lifting the lockdown will be delayed now for a couple of weeks.’
Asked whether he agreed with their warnings, the health expert replied: ‘We’re looking at rising cases, we’re looking at a population where still only 75% have had the first jab and just over half have had the second jab. So a lot of people unprotected with a variant which is pretty nasty.
Richard Madeley called Chris Whitty and Sir Patrick Valance ‘the Chuckle Brothers’ (Picture: ITV)
Dr Hilary insisted the public needed to be more patient (Picture: ITV)
‘The idea of mass gatherings, the idea of people abandoning masks, hand sanitising and social distancing seems crazy at a time when things are actually getting worse.’
When Richard recalled ministers stating that vaccines have ‘broken the link between Covid and hospitalisations and deaths’, Dr Hilary insisted that more patience was needed from the public.
‘That is why we need to be a little more patient, get everybody vaccinated and then we can start thinking about lifting restrictions. If we do it too early, there’s a risk of going back to where we were back before,’ he said, as the presenter reminded him that they ‘clashed horns’ yesterday on the topic.
‘We’re asking people aged 29 to 25 now to come and get their vaccines and they are coming forward for them.
The health expert urged for more patience (Picture: ITV)
‘So if we can accelerate that, and we’ve done so well already, then we’re nearly there by autumn. We might have booster jabs by then.
‘It is breaking the link, but we’re not there yet. We’ve still got a lot of vulnerable people. Just a little more patience would be wise.’
June 21 has been earmarked as the day ‘normality’ can return, with all restrictions being lifted in Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of lockdown.
However, Health Secretary Matt Hancock recently confirmed the Government is ‘absolutely open’ to pushing back the unlocking.
During an appearance on the Andrew Marr show on Sunday, he added: ‘We are absolutely open to doing that if that’s what needs to happen.
‘We said in the roadmap that June 21 is the date by which we would not take Step 4 before that date and that we would look at the data.
‘That is exactly what we are doing, so the roadmap was set up in order to be able to take these sort of changes into account.’
Good Morning Britain continues on weekdays, at 6am, on ITV.
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