A heated argument between guest Dominique Samuels and a caller took place on the Jeremy Vine on Five programme on Wednesday. The pair traded barbs as Ms Samuels challenged suggestions from Michael Gove that Britons who chose not to be vaccinated against the coronavirus are “selfish”. The guest panellist cut the caller off, calling his point “stuck-up and arrogant”.
Mr Gove on Tuesday said it was “selfish” not to take up the offer of a vaccine, and that domestic Covid passports the Government will be proposing to reopen British society fully were “the right way to go”.
Caller Rob said: “The last 12 years have opened up a world of knowledge- people think that after 50, 100 hours of reading something they are an expert.
“You’re great friends, personally and professionally with Sarah Jarvis.
“If you ask Sarah, ‘how many hours did she take to be good at something? i.e. the fundamental parts of medicine- She’d probably say between 10,000 and 15, 000 hours to get very good at it.”
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He was then cut off abruptly by Ms Samuels, who said: “I’m sorry, you are saying that I’m not qualified essentially because I’ve raised the fact I’m not a qualified scientist.”
She went on to say: “I’ve, you know, listened to arguments from other scientists, and I’m repeating them.
“I would much prefer to have a scientist who disagreed with this rhetoric about forcing people to get jabbed.
“I’d love to, but I’m here today, and I’m being asked my opinion and I’m giving it.”
Mr Gove’s assertion has been rejected by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as he argued that it was better to motivate people to see the positive effects of receiving the vaccine.
The Prime Minister urged people to take up the offer of a jab, indicating that it would open up opportunities for travel and events – a hint that vaccination could increasingly become a requirement for foreign trips, concerts, and sporting occasions.
Mr Johnson has already said that in the autumn he intends to make production of a Covid pass a condition for entry to England’s nightclubs by the end of September.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey also distanced herself from Cabinet colleague Mr Gove’s view.
Asked whether those not getting a jab are “selfish”, she told LBC: “I think there are still quite a lot of people who are still scared.
“We want to encourage people to recognise the vaccine is safe and actually will help them but also other people around them too.”