Britain’s Health Secretary Sajid Javid on Sunday apologized after he tweeted that the country need not “cower” in the face of coronavirus, having himself recovered from a bout of the disease.
“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 apologize,” he said.
His initial tweet urged “please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus,” sparking criticism that he was being disrespectful to those who died from the disease in Britain.
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.— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) July 25, 2021
Like many, I have lost loved ones to this awful virus and would never minimise its impact.
“129,000 people who died didn’t cower, they fought for their lives,” wrote Labor MP Yvette Cooper.
Britain is in the midst of another wave of the virus, due to the arrival of the highly contagious Delta variant.
Deaths and hospitalizations are rising, albeit at much lower rates that previous waves, mainly due to a successful vaccination drive.
For the first time in the latest wave, the weekly number of cases has also fallen, although the daily updates on which that figure is based are considered less reliable than the Office for National Statistics Survey data, which has yet to be released for the last week.