London Met lecturer features on CNN to discuss COVID-19 pandemic

Gary McLean, professor in molecular immunology, has appeared twice on the major US news channel to provide his expertise on various issues related to coronavirus.

Date: 22 April 2020

CNN International, one of the biggest news channels in America and the world, has featured Gary McLean, professor in molecular immunology, twice in the last week to provide his expertise on COVID-19.

Professor McLean first appeared on CNN on Saturday 18 April, where he discussed the UK’s shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), as well as the country being behind target on testing patients for coronavirus.

He said: “Case numbers are still increasing, with Europe being the epicentre of the pandemic. The PPE issue is an ongoing problem. The frontline NHS staff really are lacking the essential equipment that they need. The Government, however, are ramping up the testing for frontline staff, so I think we are going to see more people fighting it and hopefully see case numbers dropping off soon.”

Professor McLean also commented on the search for a vaccine: “There is an unprecedented effort to find a vaccine. There are at least 115 different test candidates underway right now. Finding a vaccine will take time, and we have to test as many people as possible to understand the dynamics of the virus, but we will eventually get a better understanding of it.”

On Tuesday 21 April, Professor McLean appeared again on CNN International, where he was asked about the Governor of Georgia and their decision to ease restrictions placed to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and allow certain businesses to open up again, while cases of infections are still rising in the state. 

He said: “It’s surprising to me and seems too early to start opening up businesses again, considering that none of the businesses that are opening are essential. There’s no evidence of the virus going away and the decision is alarming.

“I think there needs to be a balance. Of course, the US has one of the largest economies in the world and it will take a big hit, but there needs to be a balance between the economy and the health of the public – and the public’s health is definitely the priority.”

Photographic portrait of Gary McLean