Thomas Pringle TD

Thomas Pringle calls again for ‘zero Covid’ plan – ‘People need the Government to govern’

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has again called on Government to adopt a ‘zero Covid’ policy, saying the people need the Government to govern.

Deputy Pringle said: “We need to take action now. The delays in the vaccine rollout, the constant mixed messaging from this Government and the never-ending feel of this pandemic is exhausting for people. Give people hope, work with us, govern.”

Deputy Pringle addressed the Dáil today in support of a Private Member’s Motion on a National Aggressive Suppression Strategy for Covid-19.

“I have been speaking about and asking about a ‘zero Covid’ strategy since last October,” he said.

Deputy Pringle criticized the government for being “too arrogant” to work with opposition on the matter, “too arrogant to accept ideas from opposition benches because then you can’t take credit.”

The deputy said the Government can have the credit for the spread of the coronavirus “since our so-called ‘meaningful Christmas’.

“There were over 1,000 deaths and over 100,000 cases in January 2021 alone. It is wrong, Minister,” Deputy Pringle said. He said the people are paying for Government indecision.

Deputy Pringle said: “It’s like you are so afraid of messing up that you don’t realise the destruction you are leaving in your wake. People are tired, people are at their wits’ end, people are suffering, people are grieving and scared.

“They want and need a Government to govern, to put the health and safety of people before airline profits, before big business turnover and before industry lobbyists.

He asked: “How many lives must be lost before you finally admit that ‘zero Covid’ or something similar is the strategy that’s needed?”

The deputy said he hoped the Government would accept that a ‘zero Covid’ strategy is needed.

Deputy Pringle said: “How can people manage under this constant system of lockdown and undo, lockdown and undo – it makes no sense. No business person can plan for this. It’s ridiculous.”

He said: “All those businesses and all those rural businesses that are locked down now, they will have a chance to come back after zero Covid, after a proper strategy.” He also criticised the Government for sending out mixed messages on how long the pandemic restrictions will last.

Deputy Pringle concluded: “So be truthful with people. Tell people exactly what you’re thinking and what you’re hoping for in relation to this. Because what you’re doing now won’t deliver anything for people except more lockdowns and more hardship.”