Sajid Javid recommended the public to try their families and communities before seeking help from the state – and people couldn’t believe it.
Speaking on Tuesday during the Conservative Party conference, the health and social care secretary said: “The state was needed in this pandemic more than any time in peacetime.
“But government shouldn’t own all risks and responsibilities in life. We as citizens have to take some responsibility for our health too.
“We shouldn’t always go first to the state. What kind of society would that be?
“Health – and social care – begins at home. Family first, then community, then the state.
“If you do need support…we live in a compassionate, developed country that can afford to help with that.”
Many Twitter accounts tore into the health secretary for his poor advice, pointing out that most relatives are not trained medical professionals who can treat the ill.
Labour MP Jess Phillips was one of many who put her criticism online when she tweeted: “I assume Sajid Javid and the prime minister left their jobs to care for their families who needed care.
“Caring for my dying mother while having two small kids and a full time job was basically impossible. Oh they didn’t mean people like them.”
After 100 days in the role, Javid’s claims align with the traditional Conservative ideology that the state should not always intervene.
The government has unveiled several controversial measures to try and ease the NHS backlog induced by the pandemic, including a hefty 1.25 percentage point increase in National Insurance contributions.
Downing Street also promised that nobody will have to pay more than £86,000 in social care bills in their lifetimes, but this pay restriction does not start until October 2023.