Simon Harris apologises for claiming there has been "18 other coronaviruses" before Covid-19 2 months ago

Simon Harris apologises for claiming there has been "18 other coronaviruses" before Covid-19

"As you probably heard today, I made an awful boo-boo... I can be an awful aul' idiot at times."

Simon Harris has apologised for claiming that there has been "18 other coronaviruses" before Covid-19 while speaking on the radio on Wednesday morning.

Appearing on 2FM Breakfast with Doireann and Eoghan on Wednesday morning, Harris said: "But remember this is coronavirus, Covid-19. That means there have been 18 other coronaviruses and I don’t think they have actually successfully found a vaccine for any."

The Minister for Health posted a video on his Twitter page on Wednesday evening where he apologised for the mistake, claiming he can be an "awful aul' idiot at times".

He said: "I was trying to make the point that there has been lots of viruses in the world so far for which there hasn't been a vacine found...

"Don't ask me how or why, I can only presume it's a degree of cabin fever after being in this department on a very regular basis for the last while maybe a bit of sleep deprivation, I stupidly talked about there being 18 other coronaviruses, which of course there isn't. I can be an awful aul' idiot at times.

"The point I'm trying to make is that lots of work is going on around the world to try and find a vaccine."

For clarity, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has stated that Covid-19 stands for: Corona (CO) Virus (VI) Disease (D) and 19 (2019), the year that the virus first hit.