Iain Duncan Smith: British public much smarter than media think

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Sir Iain Duncan Smith has called for “perspective” in the media’s coronavirus coverage as the government continues to face criticism over personal protective equipment (PPE).

The Conservative MP told talkRADIO that the difficulty in sourcing equipment such as masks, gowns and visors for health staff was a global issue.

“Every other country in the developed world is doing exactly the same and having exactly the same problem, there is only so much out there that you can get hold of,” he told Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Despite the media criticism, Mr Duncan Smith said that his Chingford and Woodford Green constituents “understand”.

He said: “I think the British public are much smarter than the media sometimes think.

“We are dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, we’ve never had to do this before and this is a crisis on a huge scale. The government is trying its very hardest to get things done.

“I find that constituents, they get it, they understand the problem. They wish it were better at times, but they also understand that this is not perfect.”

Mr Duncan Smith’s comments follow a BBC Panorama investigation which found that gowns, visors, swabs and body bags - some of which are now in short supply - were not included in the government’s pandemic stockpile when it was set up in 2009.

A government spokesman responded that an expert committee had not recommended stockpiling swabs and body bags.

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