Boris Johnson likely aimed to provide some reassurance to people that he had a handle on the coronavirus crisis during his press conference this evening.
It has been a dismal week for the government, facing a large rebellion on Covid passes last night as well as headlines about alleged rule-breaking parties held by the Tories last year.
But unfortunately, he ended up mixing up a crucial number on cases, claiming that there had been almost a million new coronavirus infections today.
He told the nation that there had been 780,000 new cases – clearly an alarming figure.
In fact, there were 78,610 lab-confirmed cases. It is still a record figure for the UK, and an increase of almost 20,000 cases in 24 hours.
Mr Johnson said: ‘The wave of Omicron continues to roll in across the whole of our UK with over 780,000 Covid cases today – the highest-ever daily number reported.’
The error was quickly noticed by people watching, with journalist Graham Cunningham tweeting: ‘Jesus, he had one job – to get the number of cases right – and he comes out and says there have been 780,000 cases today. He really is a hapless spoofer.’
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