The GB News host appeared to struggle to understand concerns about the growing number of coronavirus infections amid a boost in routine daily testing. Liam Halligan clashed with Dr Simon Clarke as he insisted reports should clarify the increase in new Covid cases is the result of more tests being conducted to identify the infection. Mr Halligan said: “Surely, if we’re testing – we’re doing 600-700,000 tests a day now, back in May we were doing 50 to 60,000.
“I’m a trained statistician…why shouldn’t more tests result in more positive test results. Testing 10 times more people, you got a lot more cases.”
Dr Clarke began to reply to Mr Halligan’s questions, noting that testing is “taken into consideration” but the GB News presenter cut him off to say: “I don’t understand. Sorry, I don’t understand.”
The interruption prompted co-host Gloria de Piero to intervene: “Let the man speak. Come on.”
But Mr Halligan appeared undeterred, shooting back: “Every night, on the evening news, we hear there’s all these increasing cases.”
Ms di Piero intervened once again to urge “Liam, let Simon speak,” but was rebuked as Mr Halligan added: “We should say there are much more tests going on. There are 10 times more tests.”
Dr Clarke ultimately was able to respond, starting off with a slight dig at Mr Halligan: “There are but there is an allowance. And I think you do understand it if you’re a statistician, or at least you should do.
“My point about the vaccines is that the Government has a stated aim of vaccinating a certain number of people.
“I don’t think unless they start using AstraZeneca vaccines on those younger people, they’re just not going to have the RNA vaccines to cover that number of people before the autumn.”