Only 28% of people in Wales trust First Minister Mark Drakeford to make the right decisions on coronavirus, but 40% don’t know enough about him to come to an opinion, according to a YouGov poll.
Despite this, people in Wales are slightly more confident of how the Welsh Government is handling the crisis overall than the UK Government, the poll shows.
56% are confident in the Welsh Government’s handling of the crisis while 53% are confident in the UK Government’s handling of the crisis. 33% think the Welsh Government are performing badly compared to 40% who think the UK Government were performing badly.
The results also showed that people in Wales are twice as likely to think the quality of healthcare in their nation is low, at 26% compared to 12% in both England and Scotland.
The trust in Mark Drakeford in Wales stands in contrast with Nicola Sturgeon in Scotland, where 71% have confidence in her to make the right decision.
Trust in the Health Minister Vaughan Gething in Wales is lower still than the First Minister, with only 22% having confidence. 33% said they did not have confidence in him and 31% in Mark Drakeford.
However, 45% did not know enough about Vaughan Gething to offer an opinion.
Only 10% have confidence in Wales’ Chief Medical Officer Frank Atherton, but 77% didn’t know enough about him to say.
Marginally, by 45% to 44%, people in Wales want to see the lockdown eased at different times in different places rather than an all-UK approach, the poll suggests.
82% thought the Welsh NHS were handling the crisis well compared to 9% who disagreed.
YouGov polled 1065 Adults in Wales between the 24th – 27th of April.
Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price AM today called on the Welsh Government to publish the ‘Operation Cygnus’ findings after responses to written questions in the Senedd revealed that the Labour administration had received a copy of the report.
Operation Cygnus was a simulation exercise carried in October 2016 to estimate the impact of a hypothetical H2N2 influenza pandemic on the United Kingdom.
Mr Price said he agreed with the Labour Party’s Shadow Health Secretary, Jonathan Ashworth MP, who called for the Westminster Government to publish the same information, alongside the actions taken.
In April, Mr Ashworth said “[t]here are serious questions for ministers on what lessons were learnt from the Cygnus pandemic drill, which can only be answered by publishing its conclusions and the actions taken as a result”.
Ministers have been accused of covering up the report which allegedly showed serious deficiencies in the UK’s preparedness to deal with a pandemic.
“We know that the Welsh Government has a copy of the findings of Exercise Cygnus – they must now publish its recommendations,” Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price said.
“Just as the First Minister’s Labour colleague said, the public deserve and need to know what happened in this test so that we can learn lessons to help us now.
“We need to know exactly what specific actions the Welsh Government took to better plan and prepare our NHS for an inevitable pandemic in light of the report and its findings.
“This is not just interesting to the public, it is in the public interest to know what steps the Welsh Government took in terms of PPE, testing infrastructure, key equipment and their general preparedness for a global pandemic.
“It would be deeply hypocritical for Labour to say one thing in Westminster, but do another in Wales where they have the capacity to do so. I hope the First Minister will listen to his colleagues and do the responsible thing and publish the conclusions of the Operation Cygnus report they received.”