First Minister of Wales Mark Drakeford had announced that his country would be subject to what has been called a “firebreak” lockdown from next Friday, for 17 days, ending on November 9. The clear purpose of that move is to suppress virus transmission and give local hospitals a chance for the coming winter of not being overwhelmed.
Chris Bryant MP
So it was that Chris Bryant, who represents the Rhondda, appeared before Wootton’s supposed inquisition, which in reality consisted of the latter shouting out seemingly random statistics, attempting to “both sides” the science, and pretending that the Great Barrington Declaration was some kind of scientific fact, and not a mere sham.
That’s the declaration of which Sky News noted that the signatories included “18 self-declared homeopaths listed on the open letter as medical practitioners … signed by well over 100 therapists, including massage therapists, hypnotherapists, psychotherapists and one Mongolian Khöömii Singer”. And posited by three people who believe we should just let Covid-19 run rampant through the population to achieve herd immunity.
Except, as Bryant points out, herd immunity is a chimera, and the idea that the vulnerable can be easily “shielded” is for the birds. So when Wootton tried to shout him out of the discussion and kept banging on about the Great Barrington Declaration, he denounced the ideas behind it as “Crackpot”. Wootton was deeply offended.
Those behind the declaration were “Top scientists”. There were “both sides”. And they probably ranked as high as any in Rome. So once again, Wootton told Bryant that herd immunity was The Thing. By this time, the MP had taken enough TalkRADIO shouting and told Wootton he was “a nutcase” and “dangerous”. The Great Man now played the victim.
As with Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse), Wootton’s fellow hosts came to his aid, notably dribbling bigot Mike Graham, who gasped in faux outrage “Blimey. [Labour] plumb new depths. Calling scientists crackpots because they don’t back #lockdown - unbelievable arrogance”. His Twitter echo chamber nodded along obediently.
There was afters: Bryant called Wootton a loudmouth, which is admirable understatement. Wootton responded “Abusing someone because I disagree with a policy of national lockdowns. On a day when figures show 26,000 poor souls died at home between March and September because they couldn’t or wouldn’t go to hospital”. Where does this figure come from? Bryant concluded “I had no idea this man was such a dangerous conspiracy theorist”. Far from being a victory for Wootton, this exposed his modus operandi.
And that is shouting down targets if they don’t agree with him, then deflecting “You’re the dangerous one. Not listening to the science”. As if Wootton ever did that himself.
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