SDLP Health Spokesperson Colin McGrath has slammed DUP MP Sammy Wilson for spreading misinformation about face coverings.
Mr Wilson has claimed that the wearing of face coverings impacts the ability of children to intake oxygen.
South Down MLA Mr McGrath said:
“It’s disgraceful that an MP is spreading false information about the wearing of face coverings. Throughout the coronavirus pandemic Sammy Wilson and some of his DUP colleagues have repeatedly undermined the public health response to this crisis, while the public pulled together to get through this extremely difficult period, they seemed determined to spread fake news.
“Face coverings have been an important tool in our response to Covid-19, they have helped mitigate against the spread of the virus and will doubtless have stopped people from catching the virus, getting seriously ill and passing away. There is absolutely no evidence to back up Mr Wilson’s staggering claims and we should really expect better from our public representatives.
“While the requirement to wear face coverings in many settings has now been lifted, Covid-19 is still spreading in our communities and coverings still provide significant protection. I would also ask the public to be mindful of the vulnerable people in our community who are more susceptible to the effects of Covid-19 and may continue to wear a covering for their own protection.
“The DUP have serious questions to answer about the conduct of a number of their representatives during this pandemic. Jeffrey Donaldson needs to show some leadership and stop his colleagues acting in this harmful way. Words have consequences and MPs have influence, people listening to Sammy Wilson’s comments may wrongly decide face coverings are ineffective and expose themselves and those around them to greater risk as a result.”