Jeremy Clarkson has come under fire for controversial remarks he has made about Covid.
The former Top Gear presenter called for society to learn to live with the virus, saying: “If you die, you die.”
Clarkson also branded Sage scientists “communists” in the interview with Radio Times.
He said: “When it started, I read up on pandemics and they tend to be four years long.
“I think the politicians should sometimes tell those communists at SAGE to get back in their box.”
Clarkson continued: “Let’s just all go through life with our fingers crossed and a smile on our face.
“I can see Boris doesn’t want to open it up and shut us back down again. But if it’s going to be four years… and who knows, it could be 40 years.
“Well, if it’s going to be for ever, let’s open it up and if you die, you die,” he added.
Clarkson’s comments were met with criticism online:
Why is anyone interested in what Jeremy Clarkson has to say about COVID-19 or scientists?
— Dr Julia Grace Patterson💙 (@JujuliaGrace) August 3, 2021
Mr. Clarkson - Must remember to say that to my friend who’s husband and son died from COVID, and had a joint funeral - sure that will lift her spirits 😢
— Sue (@ballater6) August 3, 2021
Jeremy Clarkson: If you die (from covid), you die
Would Clarkson have the same flippant attitude if it was one of his three kids who caught covid and died?
— UK is with EU (@ukiswitheu) August 3, 2021
Has anyone told Jeremy Clarkson to stick to cars yet?
— Marina Purkiss (@MarinaPurkiss) August 3, 2021
I am one of the people told to shield extremely clinically vulnerable and immunosuppressed so still probably not well protected by vaccine. @JeremyClarkson can suggest "if you die you die". Well I would rather live it's not an idea to me it's my daily reality of I catch covid.
— Susan Watson (@SusanWa87494198) August 3, 2021
My Dad was a frontline bus driver and died of Covid @JeremyClarkson and the grief I feel today is consuming me.
He always changed channels when Top Gear was on, despite loving driving and cars, because he couldn’t stomach your brand of arrogant, uncompassionate masculinity. https://t.co/gZxRB88hqd
— Leshie Chandrapala (@LeshieLoves) August 3, 2021
Jeremy Clarkson's opinions on COVID-19 compared to numerous experts in science virology & medicine stack up to me equating what I know about maths to being the same as Brian Cox.
It's just stupid.
We have to stop equating the opinions of twits with the knowledge of experts.
— muttly (@muttlysaid) August 3, 2021
Jeremy Clarkson claiming “if you die, you die” in regards to COVID is one of the most disrespectful, uneducated and apathetic thing I’ve heard in a while
— gay succulent (@randomsucculent) August 3, 2021
We're over a year into the pandemic, and the fact that Jeremy Clarkson is trending for his "if you die, you die" comments shows that the messaging still isn't clear enough
Lockdown is not about you
If you unknowingly have COVID, and you socialise, you might kill someone
— Chris Fonseka 💉💉 (@XmasRights) August 3, 2021
Clarkson previously contracted Covid over the festive period, describing the experience as “scary”.
Writing in his Sunday Times column, he says: “Four days before Christmas, I woke in the night to find my sheets were soggy. And that I had a constant dry cough.”
“I took myself off to bed with the new Don Winslow book and a bag of kale to wait for the Grim Reaper to pop his head round the door.
“I’m not going to lie — it was quite scary,” he said. “With every illness I’ve had, there has always been a sense that medicine and time would eventually ride to the rescue.
“But with Covid-19 you have to lie there, on your own, knowing that medicine is not on its way and that time is your worst enemy.”
While he “didn’t feel too bad” initially, Clarkson’s “breathing really did start to get laboured, and there was always the doctor’s warning ringing in my head about how it might suddenly get worse”.
Clarkson also criticised the BBC’s coverage of the pandemic, saying it was “doom, with added gloom”.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.