Just imagine for a moment a world in which you could hear something like this on government sponsored television. Would that not be a leader you could vote for?
My fellow New Zealanders. The past 18 months has been one of the hardest years that New Zealand has had over the past few decades.
When the Covid-19 virus escaped from China in March of 2020 we acted decisively on the best information we had available at the time. We went hard and early to protect our citizens.
On the advice of our expert medical team, we have adopted a strategy of aggressive containment of the virus, and there can be no doubt that this has saved thousands of lives. I believe we did the right thing at the time.
However, saving loved ones from dying of Covid-19 has not come without a price. Isolating New Zealand from the rest of the word has been heart-breaking to thousands of families. In New Zealand and elsewhere, many experienced perhaps the cruellest fate a human can experience – because of the Covid-19 restrictions, they had to die alone and afraid – unable to see or hold the hand of their loved ones as they left this beautiful earth.
Many small businesses have been destroyed, and with them, the dreams of young and middle aged people to whom Covid-19 poses a very small risk. Even before the onset of the pandemic, our country was in the grip of a mental health crisis and New Zealand had one of the highest suicide rates in the world. This situation has gotten worse since the pandemic started and we know that it will only escalate with every lockdown we ask you to undertake.
Despite our best efforts to save the health services, our hospitals are now overflowing from people needing medical attention for all of the many other health conditions and diseases that kill many, many times more people than does Covid-19.
It is clear that, despite our efforts to save the healthcare system, our healthcare system, like that of the UK, now has a considerable backlog of patients who need urgent care for cancer, heart conditions and other serious diseases.
Since March 2020, my team of medical experts have worked around the clock to gather data and evidence from around the world, and to analyse that evidence to ensure our decisions are informed, rational and in the long term best interest of all New Zealanders – not only those who can afford to stay at home during lockdowns.
Some of what we have learned is good news, and some is bad news.
The good news is that the Covid-19 virus is much less deadly than we originally thought it was. For those under the age of 50, which is the majority of our workforce, the chances of getting seriously ill from Covid-19 are extremely small.
The bad news is that data from Israel and Iceland that have been analysed by the CDC and ourselves show that the vaccines, wonderful as they seemed initially, will not bring this pandemic to an end. The vaccines do not prevent transmission of the Delta strain, and vaccinated persons who are old or with underlying health conditions are still at risk of being hospitalised or dying.
The valiant efforts by our neighbour Australia to contain the highly contagious but less dangerous Delta strain have not been successful and is clearly tearing the fabric of Australian society apart. This will only get worse as more people lose their jobs and turn to lawlessness and crime as a form of protest.
I CANNOT ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN TO NEW ZEALAND.
Therefore, as hard as it is for me, I have made a decision to alter our strategy for dealing with Covid-19. Our plan is practical and we believe it will strike the best balance between protecting those who are really vulnerable to Covid-19, and pushing the New Zealand health and education services forward so that the needs of our children can be met.
Starting from 1 September, there will be no more lockdowns. Instead, we will be working with our communities and age care homes to develop a precision targeted protection strategy for the vulnerable. We have earmarked $1-billion to develop nationwide special treatment facilities, and to train more nursing staff who will get extra pay to go into quarantine treatment in aged care homes.
Whilst the vaccine rollout will continue for those that choose to rely on the vaccines for protection, we will also be creating a $1-billion fund to research and improve on the many promising and cost-effective protocols for early treatment of Covid-19.
We believe that by having more effective ways to treat the disease early on we will be able to save many more lives than by only relying on the vaccines as new variants of the virus emerge.
We will work around the clock to get this strategy in place over the next six month period, after which we aim to open our borders and learn to live bravely with this new threat from nature.
I realise that many of you will not agree with this strategy. But as a nation, we have to come together again and bravely embrace the reality of Covid-19 like so many other nations in the world has already done. It can be done. And we will do it. Together.sadly, not an actual speech by Jacinda Ardern
It you are feeling bewildered by the way rational thinking and true evidence based governance has been turned on its head since March 2020, you will find support and encouragement at these organizations:
Voices for Freedom (an organization that is well-organized, informed and doing grass-roots work)
NZ Doctors SOS (a group of brave doctors questioning Vaccine safety and the lack of informed consent)
Covid Plan B (a group of academics providing a rational alternative to the Zero-Covid fantasy)
All of these organizations are run by volunteers. Please consider donating!