UK Health Secretary Sajid Javid, who had been in self-isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, posted an update on Twitter to announce his full recovery but his choice of words in the post sparked anger. Javid, 51, said people should no longer “cower” from coronavirus as he urged everyone to get their vaccine doses to protect against the deadly virus.
“Please if you haven’t yet get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus,” he wrote in a tweet, which he deleted on Sunday and issued an apology after he was accused of insensitivity towards people following lockdown rules.
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
“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,” said Labour’s Shadow Justice Secretary David Lammy.
Liberal Democrat health spokesperson Munira Wilson said Javid’s tweet was “outrageous” while thousands remain in hospital with COVID-19. “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,” she said.