Minister of Health Chris Hipkins today told Gerry Brownlee to swap his "tinfoil hat for a face mask" after the National deputy leader accused the Government of a Covid-19 cover-up.
Mr Hipkins' comments at today's Covid-19 briefing come after Mr Brownlee yesterday released a statement saying recent messaging from Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield "doesn't add up".
“The Government needs to come clean on what they know about the state of Covid-19 in New Zealand," Brownlee said in the release.
“We have had three months of no community transmission, then inexplicably, the Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield tells the nation today that a second wave was a likely prospect.
“As well, Health Minister Chris Hipkins tells the House in question time that tomorrow he will tell Kiwis the conditions in which they will be expected to wear masks in the event of the country moving back into Level 2.
“It doesn’t add up. Why announce this now when there are few cases? What do these guys know that they are not telling us?
“New Zealanders have already sacrificed a lot during this pandemic. The least they deserve is more honest, transparent treatment,” Mr Brownlee concluded.
When asked about the comments today, Mr Hipkins said: "I would encourage Gerry Brownlee to swap the tinfoil hat for a face mask."
The Minister of Health said every Kiwi should have a face mask in their "emergency kits" in case of an outbreak of community transmission of Covid-19.
Mr Hipkins said face masks would be required to be worn if the country moves back to Alert Level 2. This would help "keep public transport working" and be used as an "extra line of defence" when physical distancing was not possible, he explained.