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Covid-19 hoax claims are ‘nonsense’ and an insult to staff – NHS boss

By PA News

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Sir Simon Stevens said it is a lie when people claim Covid-19 is a hoax (Tolga Akmen/PA)

Claims that hospitals are not under pressure from rising coronavirus cases are “nonsense”, according to the head of NHS England.

Sir Simon Stevens, NHS England chief executive, said people claiming the situation is a “hoax” are responsible for potentially changing behaviour which will kill people and are insulting to staff who have worked long shifts in the most demanding circumstances.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson also delivered a stark message to Covid-deniers during Thursday’s Number 10 press briefing, telling them to “grow up”.

Mr Johnson said: “The kind of people who stand outside hospitals and say Covid is a hoax and this kind of stuff, really I do think they need to grow up.”

Sir Simon added: “Let’s just be completely straightforward about it. When people say that (Covid is a hoax) – it is a lie.

“If you sneak into a hospital in an empty corridor at 9 o’clock at night and film that particular corridor and then stick it up on social media and say ‘This proves the hospitals are empty, the whole thing is a hoax,’ you are not only responsible for potentially changing behaviour that will kill people, but it is an insult to the nurse coming home from 12 hours in critical care, having worked her guts out under the most demanding and trying of circumstances.

“There is nothing more demoralising than having that kind of nonsense spouted when it is most obviously untrue.”

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