Being a politician generally requires increased levels of diplomacy and tact.

But the new Health Secretary appeared to have missed that memo when he shared a less-than empathetic message to the public.

Sajid Javid, who revealed he had tested positive for Covid last Saturday, tweeted a week later that he had “made a “full recovery” and that his “symptoms were very mild, thanks to amazing vaccines” (so far, so good).

However, he then added: “Please, if you haven’t yet, get your jab, as we learn to live with, rather than cower from, this virus.”

Whilst most of the population would support his vaccination drive, his use of the word “cower” proved a far from popular choice – and fellow Twitter users were quick to tell him so.

Following the outcry, on Sunday morning he announced that he’d deleted the offending tweet, admitting it was a “poor choice of word”.

However, social media was already awash with the backlash. Here’s just a glimpse at some of the criticism of his remarks:

Speaking on behalf of those who have lost loved ones to the pandemic,  Jo Goodman – co-founder of Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice – branded Javid’s comments “deeply insensitive on a number of levels”.

“Not only are they hurtful to bereaved families, implying our loved ones were too cowardly to fight the virus, but they insult all those still doing their best to protect others from the devastation this horrific virus can bring,” she said.

“Words matter and the flippancy and carelessness of this comment has caused deep hurt and further muddied the waters of the Government’s dangerously mixed messaging.”

Lib Dem health spokeswoman Munira Wilson said the minister’s tweet was “outrageous” while thousands remain in hospital with coronavirus.

“His careless words have insulted every man, woman and child who has followed the rules and stayed at home to protect others,” she said in a statement.

“He owes them all, especially the millions who are shielding, an apology.”

Public health expert Devi Sridhar said his remarks would be “painful to read for those who were severely ill” and those who lost loved ones to the virus.

The professor at the University of Edinburgh, wrote: “It wasn’t because they were weak, just unnecessarily exposed to a virus.

“And wanting to avoid getting Covid isn’t ‘cowering’ – it’s being sensible & looking out for others.”

Javid received a positive test result on July 17 for a coronavirus infection that ultimately sent Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak into isolation as contacts.

The PM’s quarantine in his Chequers country residence is expected to finish at the end of the day on Monday, as is the Chancellor’s.

The pair initially tried to avoid isolation by saying they were taking part in a testing pilot, but backed down in the face of widespread public criticism.

Javid replaced Matt Hancock as Health Secretary last month when the scandal-hit predecessor stood down amid public outrage after leaked CCTV footage showed him kissing an aide in breach of coronavirus rules.

The successor has been seen as more strongly in favour of lifting coronavirus restrictions and most remaining legal rules in England were ended on Monday.

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