South Antrim DUP MLA and Vice Chair of the Health Committee Pam Cameron has said that support for the public health advice is demonstrated through actions as well as words. She was responding to comments from the Deputy First Minister claiming she had never deviated from the public health advice.
Mrs Cameron said,
"In the midst of a pandemic, it is disappointing that the Deputy First Minister’s focus is an absurd attempt to rewrite the history of Sinn Fein flouting public health guidance.
The Executive's twin objectives are the protection of lives and livelihoods. Restrictions will impact upon people's ability to pay their mortgage and even other non-Covid health conditions they may have. The Deputy First Minister herself has previously said that none of the decisions were easy, but today chose a cheap shot over a considered message.
Unlike Sinn Fein elected representatives, I haven't been questioned by the police about breaking the rules. The First Minister hasn't been questioned about any allegation that she breached Covid-19 regulations. It’s high time Sinn Fein realised that support for the public health message doesn't stop at the door of the Executive meeting. It's about actions as well as words.
When the Deputy First Minister breached regulations in the full glare of television cameras, it was a body-blow to the public health messaging. When it was revealed that Sinn Fein had emailed thousands of supporters telling them Bobby Storey's wake was open to the public, it was another act of gross hypocrisy when countless others had to grieve the loss of a loved one isolated from the comfort of friends and family.
The Deputy First Minister's claim is both absurd and arrogant. It again attempts to treat the public as if they are unable to understand what they watched with their own eyes. The most disappointing thing however is that a statement of such demonstrable nonsense only further distracts from the current public health messaging and the need for a united and common approach."