Ant Middleton draws ire as TV tough guy announces he’s REFUSING to accept coronavirus as a threat – Daily Mail

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Ant Middleton draws ire as TV tough guy announces he’s REFUSING to accept coronavirus as a threat – Daily Mail

SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton has sparked outrage, after announcing that he’s refusing to accept COVID-19 as a threat, amid the growing pandemic.

The 39-year-old former solider took to Instagram earlier this week to announce that he was continuing on with life as usual, despite Britain’s lockdown, and ended his video recording with the terse statement: ‘F**k COVID-19!’

Speaking into his camera, the TV personality said: ‘Am I still out travelling the world? Yes. Am I still shaking hands? Yes. Am I still cuddling fans at the airport? Yes. Am I washing my hands and keeping my hygiene to a high standard as always? Yes.

Tough guy: SAS: Who Dares Wins star Ant Middleton has sparked outrage, after announcing that he’s refusing to accept COVID-19 as a threat, amid the growing pandemic

‘Has my life changed? No. Am I going to let some disease, COVID-19, dictate my life? Absolutely not. Get out there, don’t change, F**k COVID-19!’

Captioning his clip, Ant said that fans should thank him if they end up contracting the virus from him, because it will ultimately make them stronger.

He said: ‘I do love my fans who come up to me and want a cuddle or a handshake but feel really awkward, so I simply pull them in anyway. 

Feeling invincible: The 39-year-old former solider took to Instagram earlier this week to announce that he was continuing on with life as usual, despite Britain’s lockdown

Outraged: His comments sparked outrage among Twitter users, who took to the micro-blogging site in droves to discuss his comments

‘Don’t worry if I give it to you, your immune system will be stronger after then you can come back and thank me with a kiss! Stay clean and keep doing your thing!

‘P.s I haven’t got covid-19 but probably have had it like the majority of you but Ssshhh! #f**kcovid19 #runandhide.’

In an apparent attempt to clarify his stance, Ant shared another video on Thursday, in which he insisted that he doesn’t ‘need’ the advice of experts. 

WHAT IS THE NEW GOVERNMENT ADVICE? 

  • Avoid social contact
  • Work from home if possible
  • Avoid pubs, clubs, theatres and other social venues
  • If someone in your household has symptoms of coronavirus (cough, fever or unusual shortness of breath), everyone in the home self-isolate for 14 days
  • If isolating, only go outside for exercise, and do it away from other people
  • Ask for help with daily necessities like food and medical supplies
  • If that is not possible – for example if you live in a remote area – you should limit social contact as much as possible
  • Vulnerable groups should self-isolate for 12 weeks from this weekend even if they have no symptoms – This includes people aged 70 and over and other adults who would normally be advised to have the flu vaccination, including people with chronic diseases such as chronic heart disease or chronic kidney disease, and pregnant women. A full list is here
  • All unnecessary visits to friends and relatives in care homes should end
  • Continue to take your children to school unless they or someone else in your home has symptoms of the coronavirus (cough, fever or unusual shortness of breath)
  • Londoners need to socially distance and work from home even more than the rest of the UK because the disease is more widespread there
  • Mass gatherings should not happen – they will no longer receive emergency services’ protection if they do go ahead 

He said: ‘COVID-19 doesn’t affect me, so I don’t need to take on board the expert advice. But what I need to do is be sensitive towards it, which I am being.

‘But COVID-19 doesn’t affect me. So the experts, thank you for advice, but it’s not needed for me.’

Adding a lengthy caption to the post, he wrote: ‘Calm the f**k down people! Covid-19 doesn’t bother me. Why?!? Because I’m strong and able like the majority of us and it has no benefit or positive impact on my life.

‘If you are vunerable to covid-19 then the “expert advice” is yours to take onboard, listen to it! Because it doesn’t effect me, it is merely “advice”!

‘That however doesn’t mean I am not sensitive towards the situation and towards others but I’m treating this situation like I would ANY given situation, with “COMMON SENSE”. Does covid-19 effect me?.. “NO”! Should my life change?…”NO’! Should I be sensitive towards others and the situation (like I always am)?.. ‘YES”!

‘Am I going to do my best to protect and provide for my family first?.. “YES ALWAYS” and in order to do that we must all stay calm and take on advice that’s relevant to our personal situation, and for the majority of us there is no threat.

‘Even if you do contract the virus, some of you won’t even know about it or some of you will have a s**t couple of days at work wondering if you have it or not!

‘What about the vunerable I hear you say…’Self isolate’ like the experts tell you, protect yourselves, let the strong and able (like the majority of us) look after you, let us do our bit for the community and the economy whilst trying to prevent our own personal lives and families from stooping into unnecessary depression and finiacial difficultly, let us re-establish a bit of normality and contain this fear.

‘If the media went into self isolation for a month I guarantee that normality would resume. Please just go about your lives being humane, sensible and continuing to challenge any difficult situation that presents itself head on, like we always have!

‘Stay calm, stay positive, and use common sense. If there’s ever a time to step up and show up… It’s now! #f**kcovid19 #calmdown #resumenormality #nochangenochange.’ [sic]

No advice apparently needed: In an apparent attempt to clarify his stance, Ant shared another video on Thursday, in which he insisted that he doesn’t ‘need’ the advice of experts

His comments sparked outrage among Twitter users, who took to the micro-blogging site in droves to discuss his comments.

One wrote: ‘I don’t care if he’s on telly. I don’t care if you want to be like him. I don’t care if he could kill me by looking at me. I don’t care what he thinks. @antmiddleton should be ashamed of himself. This is dangerous bulls**t and will harm people.’

Another tweeted: ‘It’s hugely disappointing. I’ve really enjoyed some of the TV he’s done. He has a huge following and he should be using it to promote responsible behaviour instead he chooses to play the big man.’

Referring to those who are more vulnerable, a third stated: ‘Ok for him being a big, hard, strong man. How many vulnerable people’s lives he has just put at risk.’

Death toll: The coronavirus is ravaging the UK and it has killed 144 people and infected 3,269 in Britain so far, with the numbers expected to increase dramatically

Echoing that sentiment, another said: ‘Worried people will follow what he is doing. Totally against medical advice. Let’s hope nobody dies because of his actions.’ 

Around 1.4 million vulnerable people in Britain will be told to self-isolate on Monday during the coronavirus outbreak, as the UK death toll hits 144.

Speaking on Friday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock revealed that Brits classed as vulnerable will be contacted by the NHS and told what specific actions they need to take to protect themselves from the killer virus.

The 1.4 million people include anyone with an underlying health condition such as those who usually receive an NHS flu jab and those with weakened immune systems. 

Cheated: Last month, former soldier Ant admitted he cheated on his TV Everest challenge after he left his crew and was flown out to a luxury hotel and spa during the trek

Anyone over 70 is also urged to be ‘particularly stringent in following social distancing measures’.

But those who are at even higher risk of getting severely ill from the virus, including recipients of donor organs, those on active chemotherapy or radiotherapy, people with blood cancers and those with severe chest conditions will also now be given more tailored advice.

Who are the 1.4 million vulnerable Brits who will have to self-isolate from Monday? 

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has announced that 1.4 million British people will be told to self-isolate from Monday.

These people, termed vulnerable, will be notified by the NHS. 

They include people with an underlying health condition such as those who usually receive an NHS flu jab and those with weakened immune systems. 

Anyone over 70 is also urged to be ‘particularly stringent in following social distancing measures’.

But those who are at even higher risk of getting severely ill from the virus, including recipients of donor organs, those on active chemotherapy or radiotherapy, people with blood cancers and those with severe chest conditions will also now be given more tailored advice.

The coronavirus has killed 144 people and infected 3,269 in Britain so far, with both tolls rising rapidly every day.

Last month, former soldier Ant admitted he cheated on his TV Everest challenge after he left his crew and was flown out to a luxury hotel and spa during the trek. 

The SAS: Who Dares Wins star spent four weeks climbing the highest mountain in the world with a team for Channel 4’s Extreme Everest.

But the TV star revealed in his new book The Fear Bubble, that he left his team huddled in tents at Everest Base Camp, while he paid £1,500 for a private helicopter to take him to a resort.

Ant was flown to The Yeti Mountain Home – which boasts king-size beds, electric blankets, a restaurant – and told how he spent every evening getting ‘smashed’ until 2am.

He wrote: ‘For the first time in a month there were no cameras pointing at me, no schedule bearing down on me and no alpha-male politics to negotiate. Not only that, I’d booked myself into the best hotel in town.’

The instructor went on to confess that he discovered a bar named The Irish Pub, which served up Guinness and cocktails with names such as Sex On The Mountain, Yak Attack, Ice Fall and Dancing Yeti.

‘Over the next few days I ended up basically living there,’ he continued. ‘I’d stumble out smashed at 2am every night.’

‘Then I’d wake up feeling dreadful, with the symptoms of my hangover concentrated dozens of times over by the effects of high altitude.’

Hangover: He revealed in his new book The Fear Bubble that he left his team huddled in tents at Everest Base Camp while he paid £1,500 for a private helicopter to take him to a resort

With a hangover from days of drinking, Ant was flown back to join his team and complete the last leg of the journey for the TV show – where he saw a Shelpa leader die on the perilous climb to the top.

‘I felt like rotting meat. I’d done the damage, now I had to live with the consequences,’ he wrote. 

Ant has previously revealed he was close to death on the trek after he became trapped in a snow storm for three hours on the way down the mountain. 

But there was no mention of Ant’s luxury break on the show, which attracted 1.2 million viewers when it aired in November 2018. 

Ant’s new book, The Fear Bubble, explores ways of breaking down fear until it can be used as a tool, rather than an obstacle. 

He is now a father to his five children – Oakley, 17, Shyla, 11, Gabriel, ten, Priseis, three and Bligh, two – and a committed husband to wife of 14 years Emilie, 39.

Climb: The SAS: Who Dares Wins star spent four weeks climbing the highest mountain in the world with a team for Channel 4’s Extreme Everest

No mention: There was no mention of Ant’s luxury break on the show, which attracted 1.2 million viewers when it aired in November 2018

WHAT ARE OTHER COUNTRIES DOING? 

South Korea

South Korea has the capacity to test around 20,000 people each day – more than any other country in the world. 

Officials gave permission to four companies to make kits, with the country desperate to stop the killer virus spreading. It also uses drive-through testing centres.

Figures show the country has now tested up to 300,000 residents, at a rate of 5,000 per 1million inhabitants, according to reports.

In contrast, the rate in Britain is around seven times lower – at just 700 per 1million, MailOnline can reveal. 

South Korea’s outbreak – which has seen almost 8,500 cases and fewer than 100 deaths – has curtailed in the past week.

Fewer than 100 patients are being diagnosed each day, which leading scientists say is because of the country’s rigorous testing programme.

Kim Woo-Joo, an infectious disease specialist based at Korea University, told Science magazine: ‘Lab testing is essential to control an emerging infectious disease.’

China

The coronavirus crisis began in China at the end of December, and saw hundreds of millions of people locked down in a desperate attempt to contain the crisis.

But World Health Organization experts said it was Beijing’s decision to test all suspected cases and then isolate their contacts was more important than the country-wide quarantines.

The UN agency’s assistant director general Bruce Aylward told New Scientist testing ‘stopped transmission in China, not the big travel restrictions and lockdowns’.

More than 80,000 COVID-19 cases were confirmed in China and at least 3,000 patients died of the infection. 

Italy

Italy is at the centre of Europe’s ever-growing coronavirus outbreak, with more than 31,000 confirmed cases and at least 2,500 deaths. 

At the beginning of the spiralling crisis at the end of February, health officials tried to test every suspected case.  

Virologists praised the approach, saying the strategy of ‘over-testing’ was ‘right and sensible’. Around 130,000 people have already been tested in Italy.

Authorities have already managed to completely halt the outbreak in one small town near Venice because of the rigorous approach. 

The Financial Times reports that Vò – 45miles (72km) east of the tourist hotspot, has had no new cases for 48 hours. 

And the outbreak in Lombardy, the northern Italian region that has suffered the most from the deadly infection, is slowing down, officials say.

The US

At the other end of the scale, the US has repeatedly been criticised for not testing enough people – with around 50,000 tests carried out so far. 

Some states, such as Alabama and Delaware, have swabbed fewer than 100 people, according to an independent tracker.

President Donald Trump has declared a national state of emergency and announced additional measures to expand testing.

Now, all US states can make, validate and use their own tests rather than wait for the approval of the FDA – the US regulatory body.

Health and state officials have widely blamed the testing shortage for the steep rise in US cases.

They say it both delayed public knowledge of just how many cases there were and allowed the disease to continue to spread from unwitting carriers.

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