Marr’s whitewashing of coronavirus just reached extreme levels

Andrew Marr on Sunday 27 September
Steve Topple

The Andrew Marr Show went a bit Covid-conspiratorial on Sunday 27 September. Because the host managed to dismiss the serious nature of coronavirus (Covid-19) in one fell swoop. And he whitewashed everyone who has been sick or died from the virus, too.

Channelling Covid-conspiracy?

Much like 20 September’s show, Marr didn’t take long to cause controversy. His opening speech would have been quite at home at the anti-masker rally in London on 26 September. He talked about the “extraordinary sacrifices” people are making. But then Marr went a bit Covid-conspiratorial to say the least. He posed the question:

Is there another way forward? Is it possible to protect the economy, reopen the stadiums, the offices, the theatres and the shops while at the same time keeping deaths down?

Reopening things (like restaurants) is likely a part of what caused the second wave of coronavirus in the first place. A flagship BBC political programme should be questioning the chaos of the government’s approach – not asking whether or not it is too strong. But then, Marr managed to dismiss the number of coronavirus cases the UK has had.

Sorry, Marr – what…?

Marr and BBC economics editor Faisal Islam were talking about a story in the Sunday Times. It was a dot-graphic showing the UK stats on coronavirus versus the entire population:

So, not to be outdone by the anti-maskers, Marr blustered that on the graph:

You see tiny little groups of colour here. Confirmed cases – absolutely miniscule.

Islam seemed to see straight away the error in what Marr said. He stuttered slightly, backtracking on the host’s behalf:

Others would [argue]… so there’s diff… that same figure… is… tens of thousands of deaths that on an international scale has been higher in the UK compared to many similar advanced nations.

Moreover, government coronavirus figures are hardly accurate. Officially, there have been nearly half a million confirmed cases, and just shy of 42,000 people have died. Recently, supply of tests has been outstripping demand. And in August, the government changed the way it records coronavirus deaths. So despite improvements, experts warn the way the government records coronavirus deaths is still missing some people.

But Marr calling the number of confirmed cases “absolutely miniscule” is typical of the BBC host.

Low-level but dangerous propaganda

Last week, he said we all need to be more “generous” in politics. But as I wrote:

Maybe Marr would like to tell the families of the coronavirus dead to be a bit more generous. Specifically, he might want to speak to the relatives of the 59% of deaths who were disabled people between 2 March and 14 July. …

Marr might like to try and be generous about the 15,500 people who died of coronavirus in care homes, up to 4 September. He could be generous about the fact the government failed to protect these people at the start of the pandemic. … Still feeling generous, Marr?

This low-level government propaganda is what the BBC does best. And by dismissing the hundreds of thousands of sick people, and tens of thousands of deaths, Marr has once again shown his true colours. And how ugly they are.

Featured image via BBC iPlayer – screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. I read ‘just shy of 42,000 people have died.’ Where has this idiotic nunber come from ? I have been following this Tory Catastrophe since it started when they didn’t include huge numbers of care home deaths. The ONS – another government dept. not to be trusted – has to it’s credit issued 68.000 recently but no-one is using it.

      The Eton Spiv who let CV19 into UKania has reduced all numbers to make things look better than they really are. DO NOT USE GOV. DATA. I say the correct death total here is 70,000+ & this includes all care home deaths that Spiv & ilk exclude. Death certificates are also fiddled – there are many doctors, etc on youtube claming this…………

    2. Sweden and how many deaths caused by Lockdown
      There was always a better way to manage this as a Public Health issue and for the long term
      Swed3n has proven we need to learn to live with COVID19
      Not runaway from it and hide behind the, snowflakes out in force again

    3. The normal death rate in UK over the last two years = 12,500 per week. 600,000 per year or 50,000 a month. It does seem that decisions were made to send confirmed cv29 cases into care homes! Despite the ‘public at large’ going out of their way to reduce the daily stress on the NHS. So that was a weird, and for many care home residents deadly. Governmental reactions, such as the new six-people rule, have not reflected the somewhat confusing statistics provided by ONS, although curiously subsequent ONS stats seem to reflect dramatic increases the following week. Baring in mind the figures are a week behind as a matter of course that’s double weirdness. Marr is a BBC berk, an Establishment hack and he is obviously as confused as the rest of us. However, the current direction of travel defines modern existence in terms of an economic balance sheet. It seems the masses are functional as producers and consumers but not for their own benefit. There are people in care homes that live in solitary confinement as a consequence of covid policy and it’s something they have paid for! If indeed there has been an excess of deaths since March the number of people dying should have exceeded 300,000 by the end of this week!

      1. ONS death figures start 28/12/19. Spent morning adding up weekly registrations. My original observations were based on figures from March 2020. However, having totalled from 28/12/19 the current death toll (all causes) as of W/E 18/09/20 = 430,983. Their highs and lows are based on a five year average and mine use the previous two years. My average would produce 450,000 deaths by the end of September, which means that just under 20,000 deaths by the 25th September will reproduce the same death rate as the average of preceding two years. Not what I would expect from a virulent pandemic.

    4. “Reopening things (like restaurants) is likely a part of what caused the second wave of coronavirus in the first place.” No it likely isn’t. It’s likely seasonal, as it is with all such viruses. It was expected, for that reason, by scientists far more eminent than either Witty, Ferguson or Vallance, though obviously it has come as a surprise to you.

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