Prime Minister Robert Abela has claimed the Nationalist Party launched a “subtle and frontal attack” against Superintendent of Public Health Charmaine Gauci because she had advised the government to keep schools open.
“What a weak Opposition for it to be confrontational against Charmaine Gauci during a pandemic,” Abela told a political rally in Tarxien today. “Don’t forget that this is the same Opposition which spent the past few months criticising me for not listening to her.”
Abela referred to a recent article by Times of Malta columnist Kristina Chetcuti, the girlfriend of former PN leader Simon Busuttil, which urged Gauci to get vaccinated against COVID-19 and which criticised her for advising the government for keeping schools open.
Chetcuti argued that this advice must mean that the government failed to invest in creating an online learning infrastructure at public schools.
“What hypocrisy! They spent months accusing us of not listening to her, then they attacked her because she gave scientific advice for schools to reopen,” Abela said.
“Why did the Opposition want to keep schools closed? It’s clear that they wanted chaos in the country, they wanted parents not to be able to go to work, and for workplaces to suffer.”
“When a public servant said this wouldn’t be wise because schools are one of the country’s best tools to control the COVID-19 infection rate, they attacked her. We’re in a pandemic but their masks are falling off.”
Abela also urged Opposition leader Bernard Grech to “censor” Simon Busuttil for praising Chetcuti’s article after Gauci got vaccinated.
The power of the pen 🖊 pic.twitter.com/F7v6Kvm6Pk
— Simon Busuttil (@SimonBusuttil) January 23, 2021
“Power of the pen,” Busuttil tweeted.
“I know Simon Busuttil hasn’t had any victories and that this was a victory for him,” Abela responded. “What a sense of arrogance and superiority to attack Charmaine Gauci for political reasons.”
“The current Opposition leader hasn’t censored Simon Busuttil and he won’t criticise him because he has the same sense of superiority and arrogance and attacks people who disagree with him.”
“The more things change in the Opposition, the more they stay the same.”