Top epidemiologist Jonathan Van-Tam has burnished his credentials as the UK government’s best communicator after delivering another colourful metaphor to describe the progress being made to tackle coronavirus.
England’s deputy chief medical officer, who is often referred to as JVT, took part in Friday’s government press conference where ministers highlighted how the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines could begin before Christmas.
Van-Tam has previously delighted his growing fanbase by warning “don’t tear the pants out of it” as lockdown was eased this summer, and deploying extended train and football metaphors when discussing vaccines.
And he built on that reputation on Friday when essaying how to get an approved jab to the wider public.
“Do I believe that we are now on the glide path to landing this plane? Yes I do,” he said.
“Do I accept that sometimes when you are on the glide path you can have a side wind and the landing is not totally straightforward, totally textbook? Of course.”
But he concluded: “I think we’re on the glide path. Over.”
Van-Tam was appearing remotely after revealing he was self-isolating due to a “household contact”, and his repeated use of a truck driver’s “over” to end his monologues was seized upon on Twitter.
And there may be an explanation ...