The Assistant Director of an organisation that trains the healthcare workforce in Wales called for an end to what he described as the “unhinged” lockdown.
James Moore, who is responsible for Organisational Design and Development at Health Education and Improvement Wales (HEIW), which sits within NHS Wales claimed people need to “stop this charade of thinking we can control viruses” on Facebook.
Moore, who is from Sheffield, but lives in Llansteffan, was responding to articles about Covid-19 when he made a series of comments on the subject.
He has previously come under fire after he compared the treatment of non-Welsh speakers to “apartheid” in a row over changing schools to offer more Welsh medium education.
When asked by Nation.Cymru about the comments by James Moore about Covid-19 a spokesperson for the HEIW said the organisation was “aware” of them, that they were made in a “personal capacity”, and that they do not “endorse” them.
It added that it “could not comment on internal discussions with an individual employee” when asked if it was taking any action in relation to the matter.
In response to an article about the contraction in the UK economy in the wake of the pandemic, Moore said: “This cannot go on! We must reopen society for everyone’s sake.
“At some point we have to wean ourselves off this over safe culture.
“It’s unhinged and is increasingly becoming out of kilter…every day we stay as we are, societal inequalities widen…in many schools across Britain (particularly in the poorest areas, participation in remote learning is about 25%); for the poorest who have to work 2-3 jobs to survive, they are not able to access furlough monies, so have to work having high human contact knowing that often they are the most vulnerable.”
He added: “This madness of continually saying ‘well the scientists say…’ is helpful in a crisis but we are way beyond this. We now need balanced consideration after a year of what for many has been a total f**k up.
“Yes people have died, statistically a fair few unnecessarily, but we need to be much more mature about life, living and death. In any given year, approximately 650,000 people die in the UK; the last 10 months has seen this increase by around 16-“17%…extremely sad for those who have lost friends and relatives…but, there are another 68.7 million people in the UK.
“We surely now need to thank the scientists greatly for their efforts but balance their views with dealing with rampant inequality, climate change, the impending recession…which need a whole load of other people with different energy and ideas.
“The Elf and Safety coats, glasses, hard hats and power point slides can be put further to the back of the wardrobe…it’s time to roll our sleeves up to both get vaccinated and to get on!!
In response to an article that compared Covid-19 to the flu, he said: “All the more reason to stop this charade of thinking we can control viruses.
“They always have and always will affect humans to different levels. We have an incredibly unwell/unfit society where we pretend that everything is curable and to quote Oasis ‘we can live forever”’.
“Our own health is primarily our own responsibility…so do whatever it takes to be as well as you can: eat, sleep, exercise well etc.
“News Flash: death is an inevitability of life…stop fearing it, and start enjoying the minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years each of us have left in the planet!
“Open schools, open shops, open workplaces, open social settings, get people together and start being human again!”
In response to a story about Boris Johnson’s roadmap out of the lockdown in England he said: “Time to say enough and thank you to “the scientists”. If they want to live wrapped in cotton wool, please find your own patch of land/boat and “save yourselves” the rest of want to now get on.
“This has stopped being about only one form of science and now decision making needs to be facilitated by politicians to get the full range of others involved and stop this ongoing over safe madness.”
After being asked by Nation.Cymru about the comments by James Moore about opening up society, a spokesperson for the HEIW said: “We are aware of the comments made on social media by James Moore. They were made in a personal capacity and in no way a professional one. HEIW does not condone or endorse any of the comments made. It would not be appropriate for us to comment on internal discussions with an individual employee.”