Government blocks Bloomfield recall, again

The Government continues to block transparency around its response to Covid-19, National’s Covid-19 spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

Government members voted against a motion to recall Dr Ashley Bloomfield to Health Select Committee so he could explain his incorrect statements over the Covid-19 infected UN worker who was transported to Auckland for medical treatment.

“Dr Bloomfield told the Select Committee last week he’d had no contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade over the transfer of the patient, but that turned out to be wrong – he’d been texting the Secretary of Foreign Affairs.

“Dr Bloomfield also said the decision to first decline and then later accept the patient for treatment was all done locally by clinicians. This doesn’t square with his statement to the Secretary of Foreign Affairs that the Ministry of Health was ‘all over’ the issue.

“Auckland clinicians and other public health experts have raised concerns about the decision to accept the patient on ethical and safety grounds. Initially the transfer was declined, then suddenly 24-36 hours later it was accepted. Who made that decision, and why?

“We also need to know more about what role former Prime Minister Helen Clark played in this whole affair. We know she rang the Secretary of Foreign Affairs as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and it seems likely her role had some influence on the decision making process.

“Labour continues to misuse its Parliamentary majority to block legitimate scrutiny of the Government’s response to Covid-19. New Zealanders deserve better.”