Broadcaster, journalist, and TV personality Piers Morgan recently portioned off a bit of airtime to honor the Filipino immigrants that work in his country, the United Kingdom—particularly those who are frontliners in the COVID-19 crisis.
“It’s worth bearing in mind when we talk about immigrants in this country, these are the immigrants currently saving people’s lives,” he says at the breakfast program he co-presents, Good Morning Britain. “Coming here and actually enriching our country and doing an amazing job.”
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The former America’s Got Talent judge starts off his tribute by talking about Cora, the “lovely Filipino woman” that works for him. Having seen her talking to her fellow pinoys on Zoom, who all work for UK’s National Health Service (NHS). “I had no idea. I didn't realize. All of her friends are in the NHS and I asked her 'what do they do?'” the 55-year-old celebrity says.
Corinne furnished him a list of her friends and the kind of work they do, which he shared on his show. “I’m just going to say them because we forget about this extraordinary workforce that comes from all around the world to work for the NHS and I just want to give them a little shout out,” Morgan says, calling the Filipinos “unsung heroes” for their outstanding care.
The Celebrity Apprentice winner goes down the list: Aeron Aquino, a nurse manager at Guy's Hospital and Nightingale Hospital; Cherifer Mamuyac and Venus Daquiz, nurses in the infectious diseases team at Northwick Park Hospital; Princess Shorter, a nurse at St Mary’s Hospital; Louie Nuesa, a nurse at Queen Alexander Hospital in Portsmouth, and a team at Cheston Allergy Department at St Mary's Hospital. He also gave a shout out to Ayesha Nuesa, a senior staff nurse at the intensive care unit at Guy's and St Thomas' Hospital, where Boris Johnson, the British Prime Minister, is being treated.
His mention of Johnson, who recently tested positive for the coronavirus, seems pointed. A controversial figure in British politics, PM Johnson was one of the leaders who successfully pushed for Brexit, the infamous mandate that had the country leaving the European Union. Many say that the mandate rides on starkly xenophobic sentiments, egged on by Johnson’s provocative rhetoric.
No stranger to controversy himself, Morgan has been involved scandals, public feuds, and allegations of racism in the past. Recently, however, he seems to be turning a new leaf, a transformation brought about by the crisis the world is facing. Vowing to be more conscientious of his use of social media and wanting to effect change for good, he has been called the unlikely voice of the British people.
“Thank you to all the Filipinos who are here and to every other immigrant who works in the NHS currently,” he says to end his tribute. “I hope at the end of this we have perhaps a different sentiment and a different feeling about what immigration has done for this country.”