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Coronavirus

Chris Whitty v Tory MP Joy Morrissey

(32 Posts)
GagaJo Sat 18-Dec-21 09:54:13

Who to believe on Covid?

Should a polymath professor be expected to defer to a politician on public health guidance?

Conservative MPs have been taking out their frustration on England’s chief medical officer, Chris Whitty, for what they see as his promotion of “lockdown by stealth”. Chief among them is Joy Morrissey, who said Whitty should “defer” to politicians like her.

In a now deleted tweet, Morrissey, who is on the government payroll as a parliamentary aide, said: “Perhaps the covid unelected public health spokesperson should defer to what our ELECTED members of parliament and the prime minister have decided. I know it’s difficult to remember but this is not how democracy works. This is not a public health socialist state.”

So who should the public trust on the pandemic – the chief medical officer or the MP for Beaconsfield? Their respective CVs may offer a clue.

Prof Chris Whitty CB FRCP FFPH FMedSci
Age: 55.

Occupation: chief medical officer for England and practising NHS consultant physician.

Previous jobs: acting chief scientific adviser; director of research at the Department for International Development; chief scientific adviser to the Department of Health; head of the National Institute for Health Research Education; consultant physician at University College London hospitals; professor of public and international health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Education: doctorate in medical science from Oxford; two diplomas, in tropical medicine and hygiene, and economics; three master’s degrees, in epidemiology, medical law and business administration.

Awards: Companion of the Order of Bath; fellow of the Academy of Medical Science; honorary doctorate for medical work in the community from the University of Plymouth.

What people say about him: Prof David Mabey, an infectious disease specialist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine says: “Chris is a polymath. He is really extraordinary. Since I’ve known him he’s done a diploma in economics, a degree in law and an MBA in his spare time. And in terms of his research, he covers all the disciplines: clinical medicine, epidemiology, health economics, social science. That’s really what makes him unique. He is the best man for the job, we are extremely lucky to have him.”

Joy Morrissey MP
Age: 40.

Occupation: member of parliament for Beaconsfield and parliamentary private secretary to the justice secretary, Dominic Raab.

Previous jobs: Ealing councillor; actor including a role in a “bonkfest” TV movie called Geek Mythology, about a man who acquires a magical statue that makes him irresistible to women.

Education: master’s degree in European social policy from the London School of Economics.

Awards: shortlisted for the Conservative London mayoral candidacy in 2021 but beaten by Shaun Bailey.

What people say about her: The Financial Times said she was a “passionate Brexiteer motivated by social injustice”.

Morrissey has said of herself: “I don’t really care that much what people think, particularly if I think I’m right.”

Her campaign to offer all homes and businesses a portrait of the Queen was dismissed as “Stalinist”.

MissAdventure Sat 18-Dec-21 10:02:07

Apparently we shouldn't believe either, if it suits us not to, it seems.

GagaJo Sat 18-Dec-21 10:10:21

I'm even MORE in admiration of him now. And I already thought he was wonderful before.

I remember the video of him, being accosted by a thug in the street last year, and his cool response. And learning that he worked in covid wards himself, in addition to his official role.

I'm delighted to have such a sensible person give me advice that I can trust, to follow.

MissAdventure Sat 18-Dec-21 10:12:15

So I sense a bit of a crush developing? smile

MayBeMaw Sat 18-Dec-21 10:12:17

We don’t always agree Gagajo - but this time, yes! ????

Casdon Sat 18-Dec-21 10:12:55

Morrissey has said of herself: “I don’t really care that much what people think, particularly if I think I’m right.”

That’s the telling statement isn’t it. Anybody who has that attitude is an idiot.

GagaJo Sat 18-Dec-21 10:14:53

MissAdventure

So I sense a bit of a crush developing? smile

You're not wrong MissAdventure.

MissAdventure Sat 18-Dec-21 10:15:27

smile

Luckygirl3 Sat 18-Dec-21 10:15:58

No contest.

How does she feel that being elected (no doubt in a constituency where a monkey with a blue rosette would get elected) confers on her detailed knowledge of virology and epidemiology?

Sparklefizz Sat 18-Dec-21 10:17:03

I think Chris Whitty is fantastic. When I read his Wikipedia biog I thought what an impressive man, yet so modest. Last Christmas when he was on the podium he was asked what he'd be doing on Christmas Day and he just said "I'll be on the wards."

He speaks a great deal of sense, he knows his stuff and I really admire him.

Robin38 Sat 18-Dec-21 10:19:03

Completely agree with the post. What an amazing man.

BigBertha1 Sat 18-Dec-21 10:20:48

I'm hoping Prof Whitty gets a well deserved Knighthood in the New Year's Honours List and she can disappear up her own fundament.

EllanVannin Sat 18-Dec-21 10:29:58

I can't see any of them knowing anything beyond that virus's are highly infectious and that you act accordingly.
They don't profess to know everything, admittedly but do expect the public to show common-sense.

On the Asian 'flu ward which I worked on at age 17 there were young and old dying and my biggest shock at such a young age was a girl of 19 who'd died gasping for breath in her oxygen tent. It took me ages to get over that----no counselling then.

I caught that 'flu at the time ( 1957 ) and it hit the kidneys ( pyelitis ) but I wasn't too ill----then I had two jabs later, within 2 weeks of each other. After 2 weeks off I was back on the wards.

Virus's don't pick and choose, so be on your guards at all times. The final wave of any pandemic is always the worst as was the Asian H2N2 strain and next year this Omicron variant will show itself next month and February to be the mother of all virus's. I'm not being optimistic about it at all.

Deedaa Sat 18-Dec-21 10:30:51

Can you imagine what life would be like if our medical professionals had to elected? You've just been diagnosed with a serious illness but don't worry! You are going to be treated by our chief consultant, newly democratically elected by Joe Public! Docky Mc Doctorface anyone?

A nurse at our local hospital was talking to me about my husband's consultant. "If you were ever seriously ill he's the doctor you would want looking after you" she said. ( Note that she said "looking after"not "treating") That's the way I feel about Chris Whitty.

Lucca Sat 18-Dec-21 10:35:51

What a silly woman. Dangerously so I’d say.

Lucca Sat 18-Dec-21 10:36:22

Morrissey I mean….

growstuff Sat 18-Dec-21 10:38:23

Luckygirl3

No contest.

How does she feel that being elected (no doubt in a constituency where a monkey with a blue rosette would get elected) confers on her detailed knowledge of virology and epidemiology?

She's Dominic Grieve's replacement in Beaconsfield.

MaizieD Sat 18-Dec-21 10:41:18

What is very shocking is that she (and there were others pushing the same line) seems to think that the CMO should be parroting the government line. It's echoes of authoritarian communism, isn't it... We must only believe what the government tells us...

Calistemon Sat 18-Dec-21 10:42:24

Should a polymath professor be expected to defer to a politician on public health guidance?

Oh dear, Gagajo, this is a really hard one on a Saturday morning hmm, scratching my head and getting splinters.

MaizieD Sat 18-Dec-21 10:44:05

I know it’s difficult to remember but this is not how democracy works.

I'm afraid that Ms Morrissey is deranged. This is just how democracy works...

Lincslass Sat 18-Dec-21 10:56:04

No contest, Chris Whitty
all the way.

AGAA4 Sat 18-Dec-21 11:14:51

Weighing up all the evidence - who should I take advice from? Chris Whitty with all his medical qualifications or silly woman?

Jillyjosie Sat 18-Dec-21 11:27:17

Another vote for Chris Whitty, the views of the likes of Jo Morrissey are frightening. As someone said on another thread, when did we stop valuing caring for others before political expediency?

Fashionista1 Sat 18-Dec-21 11:43:26

Son has contracted Omicron by going to Office drinks in London. So now he will not be present at our Christmas celebrations. He was quite ill with it and he is 35 so people over say 65 could be much worse.

MayBee70 Sat 18-Dec-21 12:25:52

I do respect Whitty: ditto JVT. However it was, I believe, Whitty that decided to pull test and trace at the beginning of the pandemic because it had already spread into the community. And, at the time, JVT said masks didn’t work. Having said that, as a totally honourable man it wouldn’t surprise me if that doesn’t haunt Whitty. Having to work alongside someone like Johnson must be so difficult for him.