Health Secretary Sajid Javid has apologised after his ‘outrageous’ and ‘insensitive’ remarks regarding COVID-19.
Javid replaced Matt Hancock last month amid controversy over his affair with his aide. He tested positive for coronavirus earlier this month, though he only suffered mild symptoms after having both doses of the vaccine.
Taking to Twitter to confirm he’d made a full recovery a week after testing positive, Javid wrote: ‘Symptoms were very mild, thanks to amazing vaccines. Please – if you haven’t yet – get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.’ Javid has since deleted the tweet.
I've deleted a tweet which used the word "cower". I was expressing gratitude that the vaccines help us fight back as a society, but it was a poor choice of word and I sincerely apologise.
Like many, I have lost loved ones to this awful virus and would never minimise its impact.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) July 25, 2021
‘I’ve deleted a tweet which used the word ‘cower’. I was expressing gratitude that the vaccines help us fight back as a society, but it was a poor choice of word and I sincerely apologise. Like many, I have lost loved ones to this awful virus and would never minimise its impact,’ he wrote.
The response to his previous tweet was immediate. ‘129,000 people who died didn’t cower, they fought for their lives. Frontline workers didn’t cower, they kept calm and carried on. Millions in lockdown didn’t cower, they followed your rules and made sacrifices for others,’ Labour MP Yvette Cooper wrote.
‘129,000 Brits have died from Covid under your government’s watch. Don’t denigrate people for trying to keep themselves and their families safe,’ Labour MP David Lammy also wrote.
My wonderful Dad didn't cower from Covid. While in hospital with it he vehemently told us he wasn't going to die.
But die he did, two short days later, in no small part because of the abject failure of this Government to protect him.
— Jo Goodman (@jo_goody) July 24, 2021
‘His careless words have insulted every man, woman and child who has followed the rules and stayed at home to protect others. He owes them all, especially the millions who are shielding, an apology,’ Lib Dem health and social care spokesperson Munira Wilson said.
Jo Goodman, co-founder of COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, said Javid’s remarks were ‘deeply insensitive… not only are they hurtful to bereaved families, implying our loved ones were too cowardly to fight the virus, but they insult all those still doing their best to protect others from the devastation this horrific virus can bring.’
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