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Model Caprice feels ‘vindicated for the backlash she received at the time’ after Dominic Cummings’ Covid evidence saying her border call was right ‘shows she is not just a pretty face’


The model Caprice Bourret feels ‘vindicated’ after Dominic Cummings admitted she was right for calling for borders to be tightened at the start of the Covid pandemic. 

The former Dancing on Ice star was bizarrely mentioned as the former chief adviser was giving evidence to the official inquiry today, saying that restricting travel in and out of the UK would have been ideal as soon as the virus was discovered. 

Mr Cummings pointed to an example where Caprice asked on TV why the entry of people into the UK was not being restricted and was derided as an ‘idiot’ for doing so. She received a spate of backlash for the comments which she made during appearance on Jeremy Vine on March 16 2020. 

But Mr Cummings later admitted that a drastic tightening of travel as soon as the virus was discovered would have had a ‘much better outcome’ in tackling the pandemic, backing up the point put forward by Caprice at the time. 

A friend of Caprice told MailOnline that she now has ‘vindication for the backlash she received at the time’ and ‘it’s now evident that she knew what all of the experts and politicians didn’t know’.

They added that anyone looking to stereotype the model in future ‘should think again’ as the incident proves that ‘she is not just a pretty face’. 

The model Caprice Bourret (pictured in 2020) feels 'vindicated' after Dominic Cummings admitted she was right for calling for borders to be tightened at the start of the Covid pandemic

The model Caprice Bourret (pictured in 2020) feels ‘vindicated’ after Dominic Cummings admitted she was right for calling for borders to be tightened at the start of the Covid pandemic

Caprice championed face masks and travel restrictions when she appeared on the Jeremy Vine show on March 16 2020 (pictured)

Caprice championed face masks and travel restrictions when she appeared on the Jeremy Vine show on March 16 2020 (pictured) 

Mr Cummings admitted during the Covid inquiry today (pictured) that a drastic tightening of travel as soon as the virus was discovered would have had a 'much better outcome' in tackling the pandemic, backing up the point put forward by Caprice at the time

Mr Cummings admitted during the Covid inquiry today (pictured) that a drastic tightening of travel as soon as the virus was discovered would have had a ‘much better outcome’ in tackling the pandemic, backing up the point put forward by Caprice at the time

The source close to Caprice said: ‘Face masks, restricted entry and containment were the key themes Caprice spoke out on that were proven to work in other countries that were following these guidelines, this was way back in March 2020, live on TV. This was simply by doing her own research. 

‘Everyone up and down the country mocked her but it’s now evident that she knew what all of the experts and politicians didn’t know. It really wasn’t rocket science. 

‘What is now called ‘Caprice view’ in parliament is vindication for the backlash she received at the time. If someone wants to stereotype her they should think again. She is not just a pretty face.’ 

During the Jeremy Vine clip, Caprice argued with medical expert Dr Sarah Jarvis on the Covid outbreak after the model advocated for a two week lockdown as a way of reducing cases in the UK. 

Caprice pointed to an example in China as evidence for her argument and explained that it had already ‘worked’ there. 

In response, Dr Jarvis said: ‘What has happened is that in China, there was one province, one city in particular, one province generally, who were affected.

‘What they have done is put the entire of Hubei province into lockdown for months. As a result of that, they have managed dramatically to reduce the number of cases. 

‘But what will happen is that this is going to start circulating again as soon as they take that province out of lockdown. Two weeks is simply not going to work. 

‘And Caprice, with the greatest respect, unless you have read every scientific paper and every statistical modelling paper that has come out you cannot argue with me on that. You can have an opinion but it’s not a fact.’

Facts: Caprice drew objections from Dr. Jarvis as she read facts on the virus from a newspaper

Caprice (pictured in September 2023) had advocated for a two week lockdown as a way of reducing cases in the UK

Caprice was right: On March 16 - a week before the UK went into lockdown - the model, 48, found herself at loggerheads with Dr Sarah Jarvis on how best to curtail the pandemic's growth

But Dr Jarvis (pictured) dismissed the model’s claims and said that a two-week lockdown ‘is simply not going to work’ 

Caprice argued: ‘But I can, I have an opinion. Let me read you the facts: In Taiwan and Singapore early on everyone was wearing surgical masks…’ before Dr Jarvis quipped: ‘Which make no difference at all.’

Caprice continued: ‘But this is from a newspaper, from somebody from WHO.

‘[Singapore and Taiwan] restricted entry from passengers from China with a 14 day quarantine if anyone did come in from Macau and Hong Kong.

‘Right now, in Singapore, they’ve only had 100 cases, and Taiwan has had 45 cases and one death. They have completely controlled it and all their schools and universities, restaurants, etc, are shut down for two weeks.’

Jarvis replied: ‘This is the containment phase and this is what we were doing quite effectively  in the UK for quite sometime. However, we have now reached the stage where we have a pandemic. Things are completely different when you have a pandemic. 

‘Unless you are going to stop 100% of travel to any country in the world you are not going to stop it. Let us make no mistake about this, we are not going to solve this.

‘If we stop everything, if everybody was electronically tagged to their homes for the next two weeks, we would stop more cases for two weeks, and the moment everyone left, we woudl have an enormous spike. We have got to be concentrated for this to work.’

Following the incident in March 2020, a large number of viewers took to Twitter in droves to ask why Caprice was even invited to debate such a topic on the show.

One viewer wrote: ‘No disrespect to Caprice. She has to earn a living and everything but seriously broadcasters stop putting ill informed people up against experts. This is life and death stuff and TV has a duty to inform.’

‘At a time of national crisis why the hell @theJeremyVine would you have #Caprice on there giving out information from a newspaper,’ queried another. ‘Come on…we deserve better than this!!! For bl**dy shame on you! Give the airways over to professional people who can give the RIGHT information.’

Stated a third: ‘Caprice “debating” a qualified doctor about the coronavirus, is a crystallised version of everything wrong with our culture and general discourse.’

Dom Joly also chimed in on the episode as he tweeted: ‘This is just embarrassing – stick to experts – shouldn’t even be having this kind of debate using people who’ve “read stuff in papers”.’

Dr. Jarvis herself retweeted Dr. Zoe Williams, who stated: ‘Just a reminder that @DrSarahJarvis is a doctor and a media medic. Caprice is a celebrity! Be careful who you listen to out there. Sense would say that the Dr is more likely to be correct!’ 

Twitter: Dom Joly led a host of Twitter users in expressing disagreement with Caprice's stance

Twitter: Dom Joly led a host of Twitter users in expressing disagreement with Caprice’s stance

But in contrary to Dr Jarvis’ argument, Mr Cummings today admitted that strict border controls on travel from China and the rapid expansion of testing as soon as the virus was identified could have had a ‘much better’ outcome than the national lockdown. 

He said there was a ‘fatalistic’ approach within government which did not envisage attempting to create new systems to control the spread of coronavirus.

‘My view is that what ought to have happened is that as soon as the first reports came at the end of December, on roughly New Year’s Eve 2019, we should have immediately closed down flights to China, we should immediately have had a very, very hardcore system at the airports and borders and there should have been a whole massive testing infrastructure,’ he said.

That meant both scaling up the test and trace system but also finding the industrial capacity system to manufacture tens of millions of rapid tests.

‘The combination of ‘this country, for the first time ever, actually controlling its borders and taking it seriously’ with test and trace, rapid testing capacity, along with ‘human challenge’ vaccine trials, would have been a ‘much better approach’.

It would have been better ‘not just in terms of deaths, but also in terms of us being able to keep open the economy to a massively greater extent than we were able to’.

Mr Cummings agreed that without a scaled-up test and trace system, shutting the borders would not have sufficed in combating the spread of coronavirus.

Mr Cummings pointed to the episode of Jeremy Vine, saying ‘a lot of public health experts mocked her as if she was an idiot’.

‘That was the prevailing conventional wisdom from the public health system and the dismissal of Caprice was reflected in Number 10 by the public health system,’ he said.



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