The former Blue Peter presenter sparked a Twitter backlash on Thursday night, after she shared a cartoon of a large woman in a wheelchair holding a McDonald’s bag, telling another maskless person: “Put a mask on! You’re putting my health at risk.”
Anthea captioned the image: “Go for it!”
This followed a series of posts in which Anthea said: “I’m incensed by the selfish attitudes of people who can’t see we actually are ‘all in this together’ & wilful destruction has an impact on us all especially those with other illnesses pushed down the line & charities who are missing out on funding.
“We have to take responsibility... If the government put half the amount of money into health as they have in locking us up we wouldn’t be in this mess.
“Keep McDonald’s open and close gyms many council run and open air - Great. (sic)”
The following morning, she added: “Some interesting comments, which all come back to, the NHS is there for people who don’t have a choice and the rest of us have to take some responsibility in clearing the path for them.
“I see today McDonald’s have launched a 713 cal Extra Big Mac [eye roll].”
Piers was among those who criticised Anthea for sharing the cartoon , responding: “What the hell is this? Have you lost your mind, Anthea? Just despicable.”
After Anthea replied to someone claiming that people who had “looked after their bodies are paying the terrible price for those who have chosen lazy lifestyle choices”, Piers replied again.
“You’re blaming 120,000+ covid deaths on the victims being lazy?” he wrote. “What a repellent, dumb & grotesquely offensive attitude. Shame on you.”
Labour MP Jess Phillips also said: “The Anthea Turner thing this morning has just about done me in.
“I just wish the idiots would just admit that the wind on their face is more important than my sister in laws life while she has chemo. Stop with the god damn hierarchy of whose life matters!!! (sic)”
A number of others shared their outrage on Twitter:
Anthea has since deleted the cartoon, insisting it was “never directed at people clinically ill who need our support”.
She tweeted: “Totally apologies that the cartoon is clumsy - I’ll take the rollicking on the chin. But this was never directed at people clinically ill who need our support.
“My passion is sincere though Covid has to give us a bloody big health wakeup call & we’d be nuts not to try & fix it (sic)”