National still fear-mongering over Coronavirus | The Jackal

12 Mar 2020

National still fear-mongering over Coronavirus

Simon Bridges - National Party Leader
We all know that COVID-19 is a terribly serious virus that will likely result in a prolonged global recession and many more deaths worldwide. Obviously anybody who is stupid enough to downplay the social and economic impacts simply shouldn’t be listened to.

However what we don’t need is politicians using the situation to promote their already daft policy ideas or make the situation worse by preying on people’s fears. I mean telling the public to panic buy items and then lying about what was said is seriously unprofessional and unbecoming of an elected official.

But if it wasn’t bad enough that National Party MPs have been sending mixed messages without any consequences and are unwilling to work constructively with officials or the Government to best help New Zealanders get through these troubled times…they’re now claiming that the Coronavirus response, even though New Zealand is in a unique global position, should be exactly the same as other countries.

Yesterday, the National Party reported:

Border control measures need to be strengthened 

The border controls the Government claims to have in place are just another example of all talk and no delivery, National’s Health spokesperson Michael Woodhouse says. 
“Australia has placed a travel ban on Italy. The situation around the world is evolving and the Government needs to be acting decisively and ensuring our border control is in line with our trans-tasman neighbours. 
“New Zealanders need reassurance that the border controls in place are as effective as the Government says. This means applying a travel ban from Italy and South Korea.

You can tell a lot about somebody in a crisis situation. What National Party politicians are currently telling us with their unhinged fear-mongering and politicking over this international disaster is that they’re entirely unable to speak the truth even when it matters.

However the really dumb thing about National jumping the shark is that the Coalition Government has in fact implemented further restrictions on travellers coming from Italy.

Yesterday, RNZ reported:

Covid-19 travel restrictions extended to travellers from Italy 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said travellers coming from any part of Italy would be required to self-isolate for 14 days if coming to New Zealand. 
She said a decision had been made not to enact a full ban on travellers because the self isolation option offered more flexibility and was working well for New Zealand. 
"My expectation now is that those who may have been considering travelling to New Zealand for holidays will be reconsidering that travel, not least because it means they will be confined to one space for a period of 14 days if they choose to do so," Ardern said. 
She said the decision had been made after consulting health and science advisers.

We're very lucky that there are only five confirmed cases in New Zealand and no new ones for nearly a week now, clearly indicating that authorities have got things under control.

But don’t believe me. Here’s what an expert says…

On Tuesday, the ODT reported:

Virus managed well in NZ: professor 

Prof Krause was the inaugural director of the university’s Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases. 
He said New Zealand was following a sound national pandemic plan. 
The country had taken "sensible" steps to counter the spread of the virus, and the pandemic plan was being led by good people and supported by a well-trained medical system. 
New Zealand had five cases of confirmed disease and they were being managed very carefully. 
"We’re facing a challenge but if we work together, we’re going to make it through," Prof Krause said.

So whom should we believe…the Government’s own health and science advisers and a professor and inaugural director of the Webster Centre for Infectious Diseases or the National Party politicians crusading on anything that might make the Government look bad?

Obviously my money's on the professor.