‘Staggering’, ‘needless’: Welsh politicians condemn Sajid Javid’s coronavirus ‘cower’ comment
UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid has been condemned for saying that people should no longer ‘cower’ from coronavirus.
He made the comment in a tweet about how he has made a ‘full recovery’ from Covid, a week after having been tested positive:
His choice of words has provoked an angry response, seen as being hurtful to those bereaved and an insult to people who continue to follow the health guidance.
Vaughan Gething, Welsh Minister for Economy, tweeted: “Staggering – language like this will bleed public trust & provoke ridicule. It’s still a serious time and we need serious people in government across the UK.”
Recent figures show there have been 219,831 cases of Covid-19 reported in Wales and 5,575 related deaths.
Plaid Cymru AS Delyth Jewell accused Sajid Javid of trying to deliberately provoke controversy with his use of language:
She stated: “‘Cower’. The deliberateness of the jibe stands out, doesn’t it? The utter needlessness of saying it.
“Why crowbar in the insult, and belittle the millions of sacrifices and griefs? Courting not just controversy but contempt.”
The UK Government has been criticised throughout the pandemic for not having taken the threat to public health seriously.
Last week, a leaked message appeared from October 2020 in which UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pushing back against a second lockdown.
It states: “I must say I have been slightly rocked by some of the data on Covid fatalities. The median age is 82 to 81 for men 85 for women.
“That is above life expectancy. So get Covid and live longer. Hardly anyone under 60 goes into hospital (four per cent) and of those virtually all survive.”
The percentage of people in Wales who have received both vaccination jabs is 62.5%, compared to the UK average of 55.5%.