Advertisement

Government's COVID response among 'biggest public policy failures' in history of State

The Government’s handling of the COVID crisis is now “one of the biggest public policy failures in the history of the State.”
Michael Staines
Michael Staines

21.51 17 Nov 2021


Share this article


Government's COVID response among 'biggest public policy failures' in history of State


Michael Staines
Michael Staines

21.51 17 Nov 2021


Share this article


The Government’s handling of the COVID crisis is now “one of the biggest public policy failures in the history of the State,” according to political commentator John McGuirk.

On The Hard Shoulder this evening, the political pundit said he sees “absolutely no evidence” that NPHET or the Government have “any interest in engaging in best practiced internationally.”

He was speaking after the Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan told the show that 4,000 COVID patients could be hospitalised next month – with as many as 200,000 people picking up the virus.

Advertisement

“I think Kieran we are now talking about one of the biggest public policy failures in the history of the State,” said Mr McGuirk.

“It has been two years. We have spent €40bn. We did €9 meals. We did mandatory quarantine. We closed schools. We shuttered businesses. We basically told people to sacrifice and winter it out so that we could summer ahead – just last winter if you remember that.

“Tony Holohan was on your programme and he was talking about his model – the NPHET model which projects 5,000 cases a day at peak in February.

“Now, the UK - our nearest neighbour, which has no restrictions of any kind at all - had this wave when they reopened. They peaked at 38,000 cases daily which is one case for every 1,390 in the UK.

“The NPHET model projects that Ireland will have one case for every 990 patients. So, apparently the virus - even with restrictions according to NPHET - is going to be 30% to 40% worse in Ireland than England.

“Now I don’t understand how they get that figure and it is notable because earlier this summer, the reason we stayed closed when England opened up is because NPHET produced models which said cases were going to peak at about 70,000 total cases, or something like that, in early September.

“Those models were – and I hesitate to use this word but it’s the only word for it – garbage. We didn’t come within a donkey’s roar of hitting those numbers.”

He said we are now being asked to accept restrictions based on models that “makes no intuitive sense to anyone who looks at the figures anywhere else in the world.”

“My question for Tony Holohan is this. How is it that Boris Johnson of all people – Boris Johnson not exactly anybody’s idea I think in this country of a great leader – can open his country fully and normally but our people in charge after two years, €40bn and endless resources cannot.”

He said must take responsibility for the lack of capacity in the health system – noting that the OECD has warned that Ireland spends per person on health than any other country in the OECD bar one but ha the fourth fewest hospital beds.

“This is as a result of successive Government being so incompetent that it is almost beyond description,” he said.


Share this article


Most Popular

Live: Title

Now playing

00:00:00 / 00:00:00
Added to queue
Removed from queue

On Air

Share

Share


Up next

Episode title
Show
Duration

You currently have no podcasts in your queue.

Go to podcasts

On Air

Soundscape

Soundscape

20:00-21:00

Share

Up next

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCR...

FUTUREPROOF WITH JONATHAN MCCREA

21:00-22:00

Share

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

THE TOM DUNNE SHOW

22:00-00:00

Share

BEST OF NEWSTALK

BEST OF NEWSTALK

00:00-06:00

Share

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

BREAKFAST BRIEFING

06:00-06:30

Share

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

BREAKFAST BUSINESS

06:30-07:00

Share

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

NEWSTALK BREAKFAST

07:00-09:00

Share

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

THE PAT KENNY SHOW

09:00-12:00

Share

LUNCHTIME LIVE

LUNCHTIME LIVE

12:00-14:00

Share

MONCRIEFF

MONCRIEFF

14:00-16:00

Share

THE HARD SHOULDER

THE HARD SHOULDER

16:00-19:00

Share

OFF THE BALL

OFF THE BALL

19:00-22:00

Share

00:00:00 / 00:00:00

Share on