Matt Hancock denies laughing at non-binary people after controversial radio interview with Julia Hartley-Brewer
Health secretary Matt Hancock has denied laughing at non-binary people when asked why a coronavirus announcement included a reference to “certain genders”.
In an interview with Talkradio’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Hancock was questioned about a tweet from the Department of Health which highlighted “the emerging evidence that coronavirus is having a disproportionate impact on some ethnic groups as well as certain genders”.
Early figures show that those assigned male at birth are significantly more likely to die from coronavirus, a trend which would include trans women and some non-binary and intersex people as well as cis men.
The minister appeared eager to dismiss the inclusive language of the tweet as he interrupted Hartley-Brewer to say: “Yeah, men! It’s men! It’s men! Men!”
Hartley-Brewer asked for clarification on this, saying: “There’s a little bit of concern that the Department of Health might not know that there are only two genders.”
The health secretary stumbled over his reply, stuttering that he would be “having discussions” with “the department”.
Hopefully these discussions will examine the evidence from numerous scientific fields, including biology, endocrinology, physiology, genetics, neuroscience and reproductive science, which have confirmed that sex and gender exist on a spectrum, both in humans and in the animal kingdom.
Julia tells Health Secretary Matt Hancock he needs to “have a word” with his “terribly woke social media team” after the Department for Health tweeted the coronavirus may have a ‘disproportionate impact on certain genders’ rather than saying ‘men’.@JuliaHB1 | @MattHancock pic.twitter.com/0dsfikxybv
— talkRADIO (@talkRADIO) May 5, 2020
Returning to the subject of coronavirus, Hancock reiterated that “men are more likely to die of this disease than women, and we need to understand much more about why that’s the case”.
“So not ‘certain genders’ – men,” Hartley-Brewer said. Hancock agreed: “Men, absolutely.”
“Good to know the health secretary understands the difference, even if some of the staff don’t,” she replied. “I think perhaps you might want to have a word with your terribly woke social media team.”
Hancock can be heard laughing at her comment, before adding: “Leave that to me.”
Hancock and Hartley-Brewer’s tone throughout the interview quickly attracted criticism from some on social media.
You literally don’t care how irresponsible you lot are being, do you? Participating in a campaign against trans people is harmful. You don’t care about people at all, do you? Not one single fuck given.
— Rosie ‘Big Trans Bucks’ McGee (@halford_rosie) May 7, 2020
It’s comforting that Julia has her priorities in order & has a go @MattHancock for his woke social media team, instead of being alarmed that the UK has the highest coronavirus death toll in Europe. Well done @talkRADIO It’s refreshing not to hear about the dead. So boring, what?
— Adrian Gonnord-Luty ?? ?? ?? (@AdrianLuty) May 5, 2020
Nothing screams feminism like decrying things they perceive as ‘woke’. ?
— Alex – Fold Up Toy Designer (@FoldUpToys) May 7, 2020
Julia Hartley-Brewer arguing that her journalism has no ‘political allegiance’. Irony is dead. https://t.co/R5KlQCsBgx
— Iain Overton (@iainoverton) May 6, 2020
Had you been a left wing journalist, you’d have asked Hancock whether years of neglect in funding the NHS led to this v high death toll. Had you been a ‘progressive’ you’d not have raised issues over the ‘woke’ gender framing. You betray your allegiances in what you don’t ask.
— Iain Overton (@iainoverton) May 7, 2020
When contacted by PinkNews the Department of Health denied that minority groups were the butt of the joke in the interview.
“When you listen to the interview it is very clear the secretary of state is laughing at the presenter’s suggestion he has a ‘woke social media team,'” a spokesperson said.
“He absolutely is not laughing at any minority groups or at non-binary people and it would be entirely false and inaccurate to claim that he is.”
PinkNews also contacted Talktadio for comment but received no response at time of publication.