So it should have been no surprise at all to see Ms Malone espousing that same disapproval when appearing on Jeremy Vine’s Channel 5 show today, perhaps as a follow-on controversy generator to increasingly minor thesp Laurence Fox, whose performance yesterday alongside Yasmin Alibhai Brown was less than distinguished.
The subject was the Covid-19 pandemic; therefore masks would come into it. First off was sage advice from GP Sarah Jarvis, who you can tell as she’s a doctor. “You are 20 times less likely to spread the virus outside than inside, but then again, the very high risk areas have got a risk - of a number of people infected - which is 20 times higher than the lowest risk areas. So actually you’re getting the same protection from wearing masks outside in the high risk areas as you’re getting from wearing them inside in very low risk areas”.
Ms Malone wasn’t having all that straightforward maths stuff, because she knew better. In order to show the superiority of her argument, she talked more loudly than Dr Jarvis, and quoted Carl Heneghan, who was in the retelling promoted to being “arguably one of this country’s top epidemiologists” (not really). She cited his claim that wearing a face covering was “not an evidence based decision”. Femi Oluwole was not persuaded.
“Two things. Centre for Disease Control, World Health Organisation, the Lancet, the British Medical Association …”. Carole was not having that. “Where’s their evidence?” Femi was not put off. “The fact that several studies have been done that show … States in America where mask wearing was introduced had lower rates of infection”. And there was more.
“That’s happened across the board in several different countries. But the crucial thing that we need to get our [heads] around is - yes, the evidence that a mask will protect the wearer is sketchy, but the evidence the mask will prevent transmission to others, that is … established. And the crucial thing here is, people need to get that this is about protecting other people. Because people think it’s about protecting yourself, they’re walking around without a mask, thinking they’re being brave”. Got it in one.
Ms Malone also turned her hand to Brexit, about which she also knows more than everyone else put together. And once again, she got it wrong, with Oluwole noting that she “said UK made up 50% of the EU's exports … A) I'm sorry I only said ‘I don't think that's true at all’. I wasn't ready for a lie that big … B) EU is 50% of UK imports. Thinking that's the same thing, says SO much about the Brexiteer mindset”. So it does.
Meanwhile, back on the Covid-19 pandemic, she declared that only five people had become infected with the virus twice; an actual doctor challenging that was summarily shouted down with “HOW DO YOU KNOW THAT”. Thus the low bar at which broadcast debate is set is shown for all to see. And that’s down to the likes of Carole Malone.
Would it be any more trouble just to stick to informed pundits? Don’t all shout at once.
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