Bereaved criticise Sajid Javid for suggesting people have ‘cowered’ from coronavirus

Support us and go ad-free

On 24 July, health secretary Sajid Javid suggested that the nation needs to not “cower” from coronavirus (Covid-19). Those who have lost loved ones to the virus have criticised Javid’s remarks as “deeply insensitive”.

Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice joined opposition MPs in branding the Cabinet minister’s remark insulting to people who have shielded and those who stayed at home to protect society.

Javid said on Saturday 24 July that he had made a “full recovery”. He wrote on Twitter:

Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.

‘Deeply insensitive’

Co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice Jo Goodman said Javid’s comments “are deeply insensitive on a number of levels”. She added:

Not only are they hurtful to bereaved families, implying our loved ones were too cowardly to fight the virus, but they insult all those still doing their best to protect others from the devastation this horrific virus can bring…

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

Words matter and the flippancy and carelessness of this comment has caused deep hurt and further muddied the waters of the Government’s dangerously mixed messaging.

Opposition

Meanwhile shadow justice secretary David Lammy questioned his use of the word “cower”:

 

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner also echoed the sentiment.

Moreover, Lib Dem health spokesperson Munira Wilson said Javid’s tweet was “outrageous” while thousands remain in hospital with coronavirus. She said in a statement:

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.

‘Wanting to avoid COVID isn’t ‘cowering”

Public health expert Devi Sridhar also criticised Javid’s remarks:

The professor at the University of Edinburgh wrote:

It wasn’t because they were weak, just unnecessarily exposed to a virus.

And wanting to avoid getting Covid isn’t ‘cowering’ – it’s being sensible & looking out for others.

Javid tested positive for coronavirus on 17 July. The news ultimately sent prime minister Boris Johnson and chancellor Rishi Sunak into isolation as contacts.

As of 22 July, 5,001 coronavirus patients were in hospital in the UK, with 917 admitted on 20 July alone. And confirmed cases have risen at an average of around 40,417 daily over the past week.

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us
  • Show Comments
    1. Sajid Javid, “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.” I don’t think he knows the meaning of cower.
      I anyone should be cowering it is the BoJo Clown act he is part of. they should be cowering in shame for the opprobrium they have visited on the UK.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.