A doctor in London said he is “disgusted” after protesters gathered outside a hospital on New Year’s Eve, chanting “Covid is a hoax.” The video has gone viral, prompting an outpouring of support.
Matthew Lee, a junior doctor at London’s St. Thomas’ Hospital, said he was confronted by “hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups” in the early hours of Friday morning, some calling the coronavirus a “hoax” – “literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying.”
Why do people still not realise the seriousness of this pandemic?… I’m disgusted but mostly heartbroken. I wish people could see the amount of Covid-19 and death in hospitals, and the sacrifices that healthcare workers make.
Lee shared a video he filmed as he left the hospital, showing a crowd in lively discussion with the sound of drums beating in the background. “I really wish people would keep themselves safe,” the doctor said, adding: “Their ignorance is hurting others.”
Worked the late A&E SHO shift on NYE and came out to this. Hundreds of maskless, drunk people in huge groups shouting "Covid is a hoax", literally outside the building where hundreds are sick and dying. Why do people still not realise the seriousness of this pandemic? pic.twitter.com/KTkCtNf62A
— Matthew Lee (@mbklee_) January 1, 2021
The gathering was part of a larger anti-lockdown protest organized by Piers Corbyn, the elder brother of former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who led the crowd in chants, at one point even engaging in a fire-breathing show for spectators. Ahead of the demonstration, Corbyn revealed that he would run in London’s mayoral race, and was later seen in footage confronting a police line stationed near the hospital. He was issued a £200 ($273) fine for breaching the region’s coronavirus restrictions, according to the Daily Mail.
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Lee’s post was met with an avalanche of support, as many voiced outrage over the “selfish” crowd, some demanding draconian penalties for violations of the UK’s coronavirus restrictions, and even the denial of healthcare for those questioning the severity of the pandemic.
“I really don’t understand why they were not moved on or arrested[,] they’re in breach of Covid-19 regulations causing an obstruction,” one commenter said, asking “Why were they allowed to gather/remain?”
Remove their right to access the NHS. They can go private. Selfish.
— The Beagle (@beaglebugle) January 1, 2021
Police should round them up, take them arounfmd the wards. Ask them to sign a waiver refusing NHS assistance if the catch Covid, then fine the bastards.
— Neil Swan 🇪🇺🏴 🇮🇪 (@tramowl) January 1, 2021
Where were the police ?Why were they not arrested ?Curfew here in France would have seen each of them given on spot 135€ fine for 1st offence & sent home, 3rd offence SIX MONTHS immediate prison time + 4,000€ fine.
— Graham Kirk (@GraWitMik) January 1, 2021
Despite Lee’s heartfelt appeal, however, some netizens remained skeptical in his message, questioning the danger of the virus, as well as government policies aiming to halt its spread.
“Not a hoax, but no one is telling the truth about it. That’s why people are behaving this way,” one user said. “Why is no one allowed to ask the questions that are pertinent to this pandemic. Why are the figures massaged or impossible to get hold of and why is there no context of risks involved?”
Why can't we see it? Why can't people film in hospitals? Why are doctors having to sign NDA'S? If this is so terrifyingly serious, why all the secrecy? Out with it. Aren't we all adults and therefore can be trusted to see these things!?
— KP (@keefyp2000) January 1, 2021
WHY? Because they dare to question the narrative? The test are proven to be 99% inaccurate. The "vaccine" does not stop the spread. Covid has yet to be scientifically proven to even exist and most scientists are suggesting that it is simply the flue. The question needs an answer.
— Patrick (@Patrick70633049) January 1, 2021
The Spanish lockdown was particularly strict. In Spain masks must be worn both inside and outdoors. Despite this Spanish cases skyrocketed throughout October. Mandatory social distancing and mask wearing do not work. The UK coronavirus restrictions will achieve nothing.
— Jeremy Hume (@jeremy_hume) January 1, 2021
The doctor’s viral tweet made the rounds hours before UK health officials reported another 53,285 new coronavirus infections and 613 deaths on Friday, added to nearly 56,000 cases tallied the day prior. The country saw a precipitous rise in new cases over December, with daily infections climbing by the tens of thousands as total fatalities topped 70,000. Meanwhile, a new and more infectious strain of the virus has also spread through the UK and beyond since it was first detected in September, triggering panic among world health bodies and bans on British travelers in dozens of countries, as well as tightened restrictions in some regions of the UK.
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