When interviewing cabinet minister Stephen Barclay on ITV’s Good Morning Britain about the damning findings, Richard said: “I have to tell you we’ve been bombarded with messages on this story throughout the show today.
“I have to say that the majority of people are surprisingly forgiving, and are actually saying that they understand that the reason for some of the mistakes wasn’t malpractice but scientific ignorance – we didn’t know enough.
“But there are others, who are extremely angry, particularly those who lost loved ones in care homes, when their relatives were sent back when they shouldn’t have been.
“But on the whole, you seem to be getting away with it – as far as our viewers are concerned.”
Susanna then interrupted and said: “No, sorry, I take issue with that.
“There’s a litany of mistakes, Steve Barclay, and I’m afraid you haven’t got away with anything.”
Richard laughed, and Susanna continued: “As this report shows, too many things were done too late.”
Susanna was not the only person frustrated with Richard’s apparent dismissal of the report.
His critics rallied online, praising Susanna for disagreeing with “crass and insensitive” her co-host.
Richard has often faced criticism for misreading the public’s response to the main news topics of the day, and has been dubbed the “real life Alan Partridge” after Steve Coogan’s satirical broadcasting character.
Stephen Barclay also failed to impress during Tuesday’s media rounds when he repeatedly refused to apologise for the government’s clear failings.
He later admitted he had not even read the report before speaking to broadcasters about it and said he does not “accept that we were late to lockdown”.