New Zealand Demotes Health Minister for Breaking Quarantine

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AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - JULY 27: Health Minister Dr David Clark speaks to the media on July 27, 2018 in Auckland, New Zealand. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced a joint accord between District Health Boards, the Nurses Organisation and the Ministry of Health to ensure safe staffing levels in public hospitals. (Photo by Hannah Peters/Getty Images)

Dr. David Clark, the Health Minister for New Zealand has been demoted for flouting his own departments recommendations. During the first week of the nationwide shutdown, Dr. Clark took his family 12 miles away to the beach. This impromptu vacation came just days after the government stated that cars should only be driven for essential trips for medical care, the grocery store, etc.

Dr. Clark handed in his resignation to the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, but she refused it saying “Under normal conditions, I would sack the minister of health. What he did was wrong, and there are no excuses, but right now, my priority is our collective fight against COVID-19. We cannot afford massive disruption in the health sector or to our response. For that reason, and that reason alone, Dr. Clark will maintain his role.” Dr. Clark was stripped of additional finance minister roles and demoted among the cabinet ranks.

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