Leo Varadkar should consider those seeing their lives destroyed by continuous lockdown before criticising Britain’s reopening, according to Nigel Farage.
The former Brexit Party leader was appearing on The Hard Shoulder after the Tánaiste said the UK’s Freedom Day plan was ‘too risky’ and warned that it could have a spill-over effect in Ireland.
Mr Farage told Kieran Cuddihy that it is now time for countries to learn to live with COVID-19 – warning that lockdown has led us to a point where “the cure is now worse than the disease.”
“Lockdown has not proven to be very effective,” he said. “The Irish people, I mean goodness me, you have been locked down longer and harder than almost anybody in the world and I am actually surprised to be honest with you; I am surprised there aren’t more voices in Ireland speaking out against that Varadkar line.”
He said Minister Varadkar “sounds like a follower rather than a leader.”
“I would just say this [to the Tánaiste],” he said. “It won’t hurt you any of this.
“You live off the public purse; your pension will be off the public purse. Think about those men and women out there who are having their lives, their businesses and indeed, in many ways, their family unity destroyed by continued lockdown and work out which is the worst risk.
“Is the worst risk that the Delta variant spikes or is the worst risk that people go on living in misery?
“It is now the middle of July and when we get to September and the kids go back to school, it will spread again and then it will be winter. How long does Mr Varadkar want to keep you locked down for?
“Six months? A year? Five years? Where is the end to this? I firmly believe we have reached the point where we now have to move on.”
LIVE: 'Is the worst risk that the Delta variant spikes, or is the worst risk that people go on living in misery?'
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Mr Farage warned that lockdown has seen the NHS build up a backlog of five million operations, with the UK now facing an extra £1tr in debt.
He said death rates in countries that went into lockdown are “pretty much the same” as in those that didn’t and warned that we have to start asking ourselves "whether we haven’t just inflicted upon ourselves enormous harms through lockdown."
“Enough is enough,” he said. “We have had enough of this.
“The cure is now worse than the disease. There are risks in doing things, there are risks in not doing things and as I say, this Delta variant has been around now for many, many weeks and we can see through hospitalisations and deaths, it is not posing a major problem.
“We have to get on with our lives again and I think, probably, understand that coronavirus is not going away, any more than the common cold is going away or any more than the flu, which kills many thousands of people every single winter, is going away.”
“We have got to learn to live with this.”
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