Piers Morgan blasts minister saying ‘how dare you call them statistics, they are human lives’ in coronavirus row


He told Local Government Minister Simon Clarke the failure to acknowledge deaths outside of hospitals was “shameful”.

Piers Morgan blasted Simon Clarke over deaths in care homes
Simon Clarke said the argument over care home deaths was about “statistics”

The Good Morning Britain host said this morning: “You have no idea how many people are dying in care homes in this country”.

He tore down Mr Clarke for saying he didn’t “yet know the figure” on people dying in care homes.

Piers said: “If you added the estimated 7,500 people (dying in care homes)… we would be second worst after the US, in the world, for coronavirus deaths.”

“You haven’t got a clue, you don’t know.”

“The least you can do for people who lost their lives in care homes, in hospitals, or at home, the least you can do is have a system that allows you to have even a vague idea how many British people are dying.”

“The Government hasn’t got a clue and I find that shameful.”

There are now 124,743 confirmed cases of coronavirus with 16,509 deaths in the UK.

New figures from the Office of National Statistic have estimated the deaths could be 40 per cent higher

Mr Clarke tried to defend the Government, saying they were focusing on the most urgent issues first.

He said: “What matters is we have the right PPE, that we provide people with the right care, that we shield the most vulnerable, (not) getting into this battle about statistics.”

But his comments earned him a further attack from Mr Morgan.

Piers said: “They are not statistics, Mr Clarke, they are human lives, they are people’s parents, they’re peoples grandparents, people’s aunts, people’s uncles.”

“Don’t you dare just call them statistics.”

No10 has come under increasing pressure to properly acknowledge the deaths of people in care homes – where people are the most vulnerable to COVID-19.

Care England estimated last week the death toll could have reached a shocking 7,500 people.

The estimates are in stark contrast with figures from the Office of National Statistics, which said just 1,043 care home deaths had been registered in England and Wales up to April 10.

The biggest hurdle in confirming coronavirus deaths outside hospitals is the lack of testing in care homes – which, until last week, was not available for most residents.

But Mr Clarke accused Mr Morgan of blowing up the argument over care home deaths into a bigger issue than it was.

“Don’t you dare try and this into something it isn’t, we are working very hard to make sure we have the proper facts.”

But Piers was having none of it: “I suggest you work harder to get the information because these peoples’ lives matter.”

Mr Morgan also slammed Health Secretary Matt Hancock for failing to meet his own target of 100,000 daily tests by the end of April – saying there was no way it would be reached in just seven days.

“That was just a lie – he just plucked that figure out of nowhere… who is going to be held accountable? Will the Health Secretary resign in that circumstance?”