Sunday, 17 October 2021

Super Saturday is over, now let’s get back to reality


“Super Saturday was a fun but desperate event. Now it’s over, the Government needs to say what’s next,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The Government asked for political differences to be put aside yesterday, now it’s time for a frank assessment. Super Saturday meant some people got the second dose they would have got anyway, and an extra day worth of people got their first dose.

“It’s the first doses that matter, and there were 20 days in August and September with more first doses than yesterday’s tally of 39,044. Yesterday achieved just over half the August 26 peak of 67,903.

“Jacinda Ardern and her Government will likely go into self-congratulation mode now because of a day of feel good fun. Instead of doing a little dance, they should look to the future.

“New Zealand’s peak in August was months behind peaks in Canada (June), the US (March) and UK (April). The real story of the vaccination roll out is that the Government has screwed up vaccine procurement and roll out beyond belief, and we’re counting the cost in weeks of lockdown.

“Like vaccination, the Government’s failing at the three Ts; testing tracing and treatment. Yesterday Chris Hipkins said it was unfortunate that a man gave his kids COVID while waiting five days for a Government COVID test. He forgot to say the Government banned New Zealanders from importing home test kits that are widely used around the world.

“Saliva testing continues to be a debacle. The current contract is not delivering adequate tests, over a year after the Simpson Roche report strongly recommended saliva testing be adopted.

“We are still waiting for treatments, such as monoclonal antibodies, to be available in New Zealand whereas they’ve been available offshore for months.

The Government had barely thought about a care at home plan before this August outbreaks. They hadn’t had any advice on pulse oximeters then. Now it’s belatedly trying to roll out a strategy that Ontario has been using for seven months.

“What businesses, school students, and people awaiting vital surgery need is certainty. ACT is calling for the Government to set a date for Freedom Day.

“By December 1st, everyone will have had the chance to have had both shots and gained full immunity.

“ACT would take the following steps to Freedom:

1. Set the date and stick to it

2. Supercharge vaccination with community partnerships and financial incentives

3. Engage every sector in all-in sprints to reduce transmission, vaccination and death

4. Remove restrictions as we know them and get on with life

“ACT believes in personal responsibility. At some point we have to stop waiting for the stragglers, procrastinators, and crazies who believe anything they read online. Once everyone has had the opportunity to be vaccinated, it’s time to get on with life.

“ACT has said the date should be 1 December. If it’s not then, Ardern should say when.

“ACT has a plan that would get our freedom back. The Government took nine out of 15 our COVID 2.0 recommendations, we implore them to take out COVID 3.0 recommendations, roll them out and then set a date.”