COP26: Boris Johnson speaks at Glasgow summit
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On day 2 of the COP26, a picture showing Boris Johnson with his eyes closed and no mask on while he sat between two men who do wear masks quickly became viral online. As one of the two men next to the Prime Minister was 95-year-old Sir David Attenborough, many criticized Johnson’s lack of responsibility as Sir David, given his age, is at risk regarding Covid.
28,000 people liked a tweet by James Felton that read: “Takes an extra special kind of d***head to not wear a mask to protect David fucking Attenborough.”
Incidentally, as she was interviewing him for CNN, American journalist Christiane Amanpour asked him a question about the viral picture.
“You brought up the national treasure Sir David Attenborough, and there you all were, in the plenary, he is 95 years old, he was wearing a mask and you weren’t,” she asked.
Following Boris Johnson’s surprise at the question, the news host asked the question a second time.
After some stammering, the Prime Minister replied: “I’ve been wearing a mask in confined spaces with people I don’t normally meet.
“I think it’s up to people to make a judgment about whether they’re at a reasonable distance from someone and whether they’re with someone they don’t normally meet.
“That’s the approach we take.”
As explained by The Mirror, the Prime Minister might have been surprised by the question as he was wearing his mask at some point.
Pictures from the scene taken at different times show that both Mr Johnson and Mr Attenborough had their masks on and off.
The PM was slammed by critics over the photo, which also showed him with his eyes shut.
A No10 source said it was “total nonsense” to suggest he was asleep, as virtually all other photos from the same series showed him with his eyes open.
A Downing Street spokesman said on Tuesday: “The prime minister has abided by the COVID guidance at COP throughout.
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“As you know, attendees and delegates are not required to wear face masks when they are seated as per the guidance and he will continue to abide by all the rules that are in place while he’s up in Glasgow.”
This did not prevent opponents from Labour to critique Mr Johnson on social media.
Shadow Trade Minister Bill Esterson tweeted: “Boris Johnson chose not to wear a mask sat next to David Attenborough at #COP26 Attenborough is 95 and is at very high risk from Covid.
“Wearing a mask protects other people yet Johnson couldn’t be bothered to protect Attenborough from Covid. Says it all about Johnson.”
Labour MP Anna McMorrin also tweeted: “It’s one thing to show how little you care but quite another [to] sit next to 95-year-old David Attenborough and NOT wear a MASK.”
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