BBC Breakfast’s Jon Kay leaves Liz Truss red-faced over vaccine slip-up: ’50,000?’

BBC Breakfast: Jon Kay corrects Liz Truss on vaccine comment

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Jon Kay was back alongside Louise Minchin on BBC Breakfast on Tuesday to bring the latest headlines to BBC viewers. And on the agenda, the presenting duo had chats lined up with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss. However, as Kay and Ms Truss delved into the details of England’s support for India as Covid cases continue to rocket in the country, one or two slip-ups occurred.

The mistake came when Ms Truss began to discuss the UK’s vaccine rollout, lauding the efforts but mistakingly saying 50,000 instead of 50 million.

But Kay failed to pick up on the error right away, allowing Ms Truss to continue her answers before turning his attention to India.

“I know you’re announcing this trade agreement today, this trade deal with India, all eyes of course on this terrible situation with Covid in India,” Kay said.

“You know, we’re about to get five million vaccines from India delivered to the UK, should we be saying ‘Look, you can keep those for people who are really suffering at the moment?’”

Ms Truss replied: “Well, the situation in India is completely heartbreaking,

“And we are doing all we can to help, we sent 600,000 pieces of equipment including ventilators and that is what the Indian government is asking for now. 

“I’ve got a call later today my own counterpart to ask what more assistance we can give. We’re looking at what we can do in the longer term.”

But when Jon tried to interject to reiterate his question on the vaccines staying In India, in particular, Ms Truss quickly cut him off as she continued her retort.

“On the specific issue of vaccines,” she said, “what they need at the moment is oxygen, that is what we’re get out to India.”

Ms Truss then reemphasised the need for countries across the globe to vaccinate fully before Kay repeated his question about letting India keep the vaccines it has planned to ship to the UK.

Again ending the line of questioning, Ms Truss said: “I’m not going to go into details and we don’t go into details about precise vaccines supply.

“What I can tell you is we do have the vaccines we need to hit our targets in the UK, getting all adults vaccinated by the end of July.

“But I can’t go into details about individual contracts,” she added before Kay picked Ms Truss up on a blunder she’d made earlier in the chat.

When discussing the UK’s vaccine rollout, Ms Truss had mistaken the 50million vaccines offered for 50,000.

“One particular detail you might want to correct is, I think you said earlier 50,000 vaccines had been administered in the UK, 50 million – I know you wouldn’t want to underestimate that,” Kay said.

Ms Truss quickly apologised as she laughed off her error before Kay brought the conversation to a close.


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