Angry Phillip Schofield slams Chris Whitty for predicting 2021 winter lockdown

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This Morning host Phillip Schofield fumed at Professor Chris Whitty's recent announcement that the UK could be in lockdown as late as winter 2021.

Whitty, who is Britain's chief medical officer, issued the warning on Tuesday as the country recorded more than 60,000 coronavirus cases a day for the first time.

Phillip was furious as he claimed scientists should be more careful with dishing out bad news, and only tell the public what they need to know in immediate weeks.

Alongside co host Holly Willoughby, he was holding a debate with right-wing lockdown sceptic Julia Hartley-Brewer and BBC journalist Andrew Neil.

"I watched the press conference last night, and I have a great deal of admiration for that team and what they are doing behind the scenes and the fact this is all a work in progress," Phillip began.

"But I did think last night, do you know what Chris – and once again I have the great admiration for you – I didn't need to know that.

Phillip said scientists should "manage bad news" carefully

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"You've got to manage the bad news, we are dealing with lockdown now and all the mental health issues, the financial issues that that brings.

"Let us cope with this before you tell us that next winter, there may still be problems.

"Tell us later, after the summer, 'Ooh this may be creeping back again', don't give it to us all in one go."

Britain's Chief Medical Officer for England Chris Whitty warned a winter lockdown could be implemented
(Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

(Image: ITV)

Whitty had said at the press conference: "We shouldn't kid ourselves [that] this just disappears with spring."

"If we did not do all the things all of us must now do, if people don't take the stay at home seriously, the risk at this point in time, in the middle of winter, with this new variant, is extraordinarily high."

Phillip's comments sparked some debate online, with many viewers on Twitter disagreeing and saying Whitty would otherwise be criticised for not telling us the whole truth.

Phillip said he did not need to be worrying about what will happen this winter yet

" #ThisMorning Sorry Phil. If Chris Whitty had not said the facts, and next winter you had to lock down, you would be one of the first demanding to know why you were not warned!!!"wrote one.

"Is Chris whitty just not being honest tho .. you slag people off for not telling the truth and not being honest.. gives you 11 months to get used to it #ThisMorning," wrote another.

A third agreed: "You took the words right out of my mouth!! If the government/scientists hadn’t have said this now, come next winter there would be uproar that the chance of Covid restrictions being brought back wasn’t mentioned to us before!"

* This Morning airs weekdays on ITV at 10am

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