We realise that this Laborious/Groans/NZ Last unelected coalition government hasn't got a lot to choose from when it comes to appointing some of them to ministerial positions, and the situation has been made even worse by some of the original selections having to be fired for sundry reasons. But current Health Minister (and for how long, we wonder) Hipkins is a dazzling manifestation of that paucity of intelligence and integrity.

On September 10 he appeared, unbeckoned, uninvited, in New Zealand sitting rooms via TV screens, and ranted at Cindie's team of five million. He accused some, unknown as yet, of the team of spreading misinformation. And he reminded us, with a straight face, nay, a stern face, that, to overcome the spread of misinformation, we need to "watch the TV news". That's like telling us to listen to Creepy Joe Biden to learn the truth about President Trump.

Anyway, he then went on to make a point of demonstrating his lack either of intelligence or of integrity, perhaps both. He exclaimed that "the virus is very, very deadly!" Not just deadly; not just very deadly; no, very, very deadly.

Well, there have been and still are some illnesses/diseases/viruses that are very, very deadly – ebola, Marburg virus, rabies, HIV (Aids), dengue fever, etc. But none of them is Covid-19. According to the Worldometer, as I write this, New Zealand has had 1797 identified cases of Covid-19. Twenty-four of those have died. That's a mortality rate of 1.3 per cent of the identified cases, and all those deaths have been of older persons (say, 65-plus), with co-morbidities. And that's without the successful hydroxychloroquine treatment, which has been banned. (That's another story.) That's very, very deadly?

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Okay, so, in pre-Covid-19 2006, for example, how many 65-year-olds-plus died from the flu in New Zealand? Four hundred. Yes, 400, in just one pre-Covid-19 year in New Zealand.

But 24 have died from Covid-19 in eight months; that's very, very deadly.

Let's extrapolate that out to 12 months; 24 in 8 months makes 36 in a year. Thirty-six Covid-19 deaths versus 400 flu deaths. And yet we don't tell the team of five million that the flu is "very, very deadly". Why on Earth not? But, hey, the Coalition of Communists will cry, our lockdown is what's stopped all those other forecast 80,000 deaths. Anyone feel a Tui advert coming on here? And don't tell anyone that those 24 deaths in New Zealand have been with Covid-19, not from Covid-19.

Cindie and her band are telling us that they've got no policies or proposals to submit for scrutiny before this general election; this is a Covid election, they're telling us. It's difficult to think of any more arrogant or more cynical approach to what is probably the most important general election in New Zealand for a very long time.

Anyway, you and your readers know very well how incompetent they are, and how they all really have about the same intelligence and integrity as Hipkins. Not really what we'd like to be going on with.

Leo Leitch

Benneydale