HHealth Secretary Sajid Javid has come under fire for saying people should no longer ‘curl up’ against the coronavirus as he announced he had ‘fully recovered’ from Covid-19.
Labor accused him of successfully ‘denigrating’ people who followed the rules to protect others, while Lib Dems told him to apologize to those who protected themselves as they are particularly vulnerable to disease.
Mr Javid received a positive test result on July 17 for a coronavirus infection which ultimately sent Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Chancellor Rishi Sunak into isolation as contacts.
The health secretary, who had received both vaccines before testing positive, said on Saturday that he had “fully recovered” and that his “symptoms were very mild, thanks to incredible vaccines”.
“Please, if you haven’t already, get your jab on, as we learn to live with it, rather than curl up against this virus,” he wrote on Twitter.
Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy questioned his use of the word curl up, in words echoed by Labor deputy leader Angela Rayner.
“129,000 Britons have died from Covid under your government’s watch,” Mr Lammy wrote.
“Don’t denigrate people who are trying to protect themselves and their families. “
Lib Dem health spokesperson Munira Wilson said Mr Javid’s tweet was “outrageous” as thousands remain in hospital with Covid-19.
“Her reckless words insulted every man, woman and child who followed the rules and stayed at home to protect others,” she said in a statement.
“He owes them all, especially the millions of people who protect, an apology. “
Covid-19 Bereved Families for Justice co-founder Jo Goodman said that “Mr. Javid’s comments are deeply insensitive on many levels”.
“Not only are they hurting bereaved families, implying that our loved ones were too cowardly to fight the virus, but they are insulting anyone who is still doing their best to protect others from the devastation this horrific virus can bring,” he said. she added.
“Words matter and the flippancy and recklessness of this comment has caused a deep wound and further muddied the waters of the government’s dangerously mixed messages. “
Mr Johnson’s quarantine at his country residence in Checkers is expected to end late Monday, as is Mr Sunak’s.
The couple initially tried to avoid isolation by saying they were on a trial pilot, but backed down in the face of widespread criticism from the public.
Mr Javid replaced Matt Hancock as Health Secretary last month when the scandal-affected predecessor stepped down amid public outrage after CCTV footage leaked showing him kissing a violating assistant rules on coronaviruses.
The successor was seen as more supportive of lifting restrictions on coronaviruses and most of the remaining legal rules in England were removed on Monday.