Covid-19: Tom Black hits back over ‘panic and fear’ comment by DUP MP

Dr Tom Black, the NI spokesman for the British Medical Association, has hit back at Sammy Wilson after the DUP MP savaged him for helping to foment “panic and fear”.

By Adam Kula
Wednesday, 22nd December 2021, 6:15 pm
Dr Tom Black
Dr Tom Black

This latest jousting between the two dates back to last week, when Dr Black told the BBC that “you go out and mix with a crowd next week, one of them will have omicron... it’s so infectious, you’ll then come home with it”.

A day later, he went on to tell the Nolan Show that the public should “bypass the politicians” and do the smart thing, by locking down right away.

Mr Wilson has long been a stern critic of what he sees as over-the-top Covid restrictions.

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He has since released a statement calling these comments “highly irresponsible” and saying they had left people “in a state of panic and fear”.

He added: “His contention that people must not leave their homes for risk of catching Covid has left businesses reeling and done untold harm to people’s mental health at this family centred time of year.

“Government ministers across the UK know that the formal declaration of a new lockdown would be politically unacceptable. In an act of political cowardice, it appears the tactic being employed is to instil fear in the population and create a lockdown by stealth.”

Dr Black responded: “There is clearly a division between the medical profession and some politicians...

“The medical profession is extremely concerned the omicron variant will sweep through society and possibly overwhelm the NHS. There’s a real risk we’d have many, many staff off sick or isolating which would have a devastating impact on our health service.”

He added that the NI BMA is entirely “in line” with the assesments of Chris Whitty in England when it comes to how people should respond.

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