It has been reported that the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for Wales, Dr. Frank Atherton, has been on leave all week in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
Dr. Atherton, who reportedly earns a salary of £190,000 a year, has been granted "a week's holiday" by the Welsh Government according to Daily Mail journalist, Guy Adams.
Questions first arose when an out-of-office automated email reply from Dr. Atherton's office was circulated on social media by regional Member of the Senedd for South Wales Central, Andrew R. T. Davies.
Soon after, it was made clear that the Chief Medical Officer for Wales was absent from his position after the change in the epidemic alert level in the UK from 4 to 3 was signed off by Dr. Chris Jones, Dr. Atherton's deputy.
Daily Mail journalist, Guy Adams later clarified that the Welsh Government press office has confirmed that Dr. Atherton had taken "a week's holiday". The CMO is expected back at work on Monday.
With the role of Chief Medical Officer for Wales being complimented with a salary of £190,000 per annum - nearly 8x the average wage in Wales - questions have been asked as to why the man responsible for the Welsh response to the pandemic has been allowed to down his tools for a week at the height of a national emergency by the Welsh Government.
Is the Welsh Government really taking this national health emergency seriously?
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