Jack Quann
Jack Quann

18.24 4 Jun 2020


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Labour leader Alan Kelly says he is concerned that the Government is allowing the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) to run the country.

He told The Hard Shoulder: "The Taoiseach effectively said they had put proposals to NPHET and they were waiting to hear back from them.

"I just really worry about that because the tail wagging the dog here.

"I mean obviously we take advice from NPHET, it's very important public health advice - but ultimately the Government have to make decisions.

"On one side is public health advice, on the other side is the economy, our society and also non-COVID related healthcare - which I've been pushing now for weeks and weeks and weeks".

"In relation to our roadmap versus other areas, when we look at saying that we want to ensure that our tourism industry survives this, we want to do our best for SMEs: if you sit down now in a few days and you decide with your partner or your family that hopefully we'll be able to go somewhere for a few days before potential the kids go back to school.

"On June 17th you'll be able to plan to fly to Abu Dhabi, but on June 17th you won't be able to plan to book a break anywhere in Ireland.

"So it's getting to a ridiculous nature because by then, by late in the summer, the 14 day travel restrictions will probably be lifted - so if you want to plan, if businesses want to plan, and if society is going to change we have to look at the roadmap now.

"I personally believe that the five intervals needs to come down to four.

"I think the last stage should be July the 20th instead of August the 10th if we keep going on the trajectory that we're going".

"We now know that we're going to have to live with this virus and plan accordingly, and that's where we're at".

"We have these briefings every day now, Ivan, and I think there's an element of confusion now.

"Obviously the [Chief Medical Officer] is asked questions by the press, and that's fine, but then you have other Government ministers saying one thing [with] the CMO and NPHET saying another thing.

"We also have a plethora of very, very eminent and good public health advisers who are saying other contradictory things.

"So the public, at this stage, I think are ahead of the politicians anyway.

"As long as you adhere to common sense, practical good public health advice in relation to hygiene, in relation to washing your hands, in relation to keeping back from people then we can live with this - and we're going to have to - live with this virus.

"But I think the contradictions that are coming out because of the way in which communications are happening from Government versus NPEHT - I really think the Government needs to take control of this.

"At the moment, things are being communicated in so many different avenues, so many different ways that people are asking me who should they listen to.

"When it started I said 'you should listen to the Government', now I'm telling them to listen to the CMO because obviously what he says is going to be gospel."

Alan Kelly: 'The tail is wagging the dog' when it comes to NPHET and the Government

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

    

Main image: Labour Party leader Alan Kelly speaking to media on the Leinster House plinth. Picture by: Sasko Lazarov/RollingNews.ie

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Alan Kelly Coronavirus Covid-19 Government Labour Leader NPHET Roadmap The Hard Shoulder

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