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29th Jun 2021

Chris Whitty harassed in the street

Danny Jones

The Chief Medical Officer was accosted by two random men in the street

The UK’s Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty, has been harassed and manhandled in the street by two strangers. The video of the incident was posted online and is circulating across social media.

The footage shows Professor Whitty struggling to free himself from the men who continue to grab him as they laugh and pose for the camera. Their words are illegible but their actions are not: simply appalling, inappropriate and embarrassing.

Whitty can be seen trying to cross the road as he manages to get a few steps away from the men but they continue to cling on to him. Eventually, a voice – thought to be from a passer-by – can be heard telling the men to “leave this gentleman alone”.

In a statement the Metropolitan Police said: “We’re aware of a video being shared online showing an incident in St James’ Park. Officers spoke to all those involved at the time and their details were taken”.

As far as we know, the altercation did not get violent but the fact remains that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. These men, no doubt, thought they were somehow ‘getting one over on the government’ but what they were actually doing is just harassing and grabbing a man in the street.

Whitty, a physician and epidemiologist, has played a key role in the response to the pandemic in the UK, acting as chief medical adviser to the prime minister and his team and often appearing at government news conferences.

He was previously chief scientific adviser at the Department of Health and worked on the Ebola outbreak of 2014. No matter what you may think of this current government’s handling of the Covid-19, this is not the man you go for – nor should any member of the government be denied basic human decency.