Over the course of the coronavirus crisis, the UK government has faced constant criticism for being slow to supply health staff with personal protective equipment (PPE) to properly protect them from the virus.

Healthcare staff across the NHS are reporting that staff are sick, and at least 19 NHS staff are known to have died of the virus. Even fetish companies are donating their stock to the NHS, and school children in design and tech classes have been making masks too. From the outside, you’d be forgiven for thinking the management of this looks very disorganised and chaotic – which seems to be endangering lives.

Health Secretary Matt Hancock has been frequently criticised for his responses during the government’s daily press briefings. At one point he even appeared to suggest that health staff weren’t treating PPE like the “precious” resource that is it, as an excuse for why it isn’t available.

But now things have got even more dire for NHS staff, with reports suggesting hospitals are finally running out of PPE and are resorting to washing single-use gowns so they can be reused, which is far from ideal.

Obviously this is an incredibly distressing and potentially dangerous situation for health staff, but also their families.

So how did Matt Hancock respond? By saying he “wishes” he could “wave a magic wand” and “have PPE fall from the sky”.

Yes, really.

Speaking on video link from his home on 17 April, Hancock insisted the government is doing all it can to address the shortage, saying:

I would love to be able to wave a magic wand and have PPE fall from the sky in large quantities.

These remarks have now been slammed by people on social media, many of whom work in the NHS or have loved ones who do.

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