British actress Miriam Margolyes admits that she was not rooting for Boris Johnson to pull through during his recent bout with the coronavirus — at least, not at first.
The actress, known internationally for her role as Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter series and in Britain for her sharp criticisms of Johnson and penchant for speaking her mind, said in a recent interview that she first hoped the British prime minister would lose his battle.
“I had difficulty not wanting Boris Johnson to die,” the actress said during an interview on The Last Leg Locked Down Under, via HuffPost. “I wanted him to die. And then I thought that that reflects badly on me, and I don’t want to be the sort of person who wants people to die.”
Margolyes said the thought went away.
“So then I wanted him to get better, which he did do,” she added. “He did get better. But he didn’t get better as a human being, and I really would prefer that. So, you know, we’re in the sh*t, basically here.”
Johnson spent time in an intensive care unit while he battled the coronavirus, but ultimately he was able to recover and was released from a hospital last month.
Margolyes was also critical of the British government’s response to the coronavirus, saying it was a “public scandal” how the country handled the outbreak of the deadly virus. Johnson was widely criticized for adopting a strategy to mitigate the spread of the virus rather than following the lead of other countries that adopted stringent restrictions in an attempt to stop its spread.
As Business Insider reported, Johnson abandoned this approach after a report from Imperial College of London commissioned by the British government predicted hundreds of thousands of people would die with a mitigation strategy, as hospital systems would become so overwhelmed with cases that they could not properly respond to urgent cases.
As The Inquisitr reported, Johnson was also blamed for skipping meetings during the first few weeks of the outbreak.
According to the New York Daily News, there was a range of reactions to Margolyes’ comments on Johnson. Many took to social media to call her out for wishing death on a world leader, but others believed that Johnson is the one who should be facing criticism for an approach to the virus that led to more infections and deaths than necessary.
“Johnson is responsible for thousands upon thousands of actual deaths,” one person wrote in defending Margolyes. “Save your outrage for him — Miriam Margolyes is just voicing a thought that must have crossed many people’s minds.”