Coronavirus: Clarke Gayford defends lockdown, calls out opinion writers 'suffering cognitive dissonance'

Clarke Gayford has come out swinging against people "suffering cognitive dissonance", in a tweet many are interpreting as being directed at Mike Hosking.

"Spare a thought today for anyone suffering a form of cognitive dissonance causing dismay that the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff is empty because the fence at the top is working," the Prime Minister's partner wrote on Friday.

The tweet shared an image of a quote that states "opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding."

Many reacted online assuming the tweet was directed at broadcaster Mike Hosking, who earlier on Friday in his 'Mike's Minute' opinion segment accused Jacinda Ardern of overreacting to the COVID-19 crisis and having a "Cinderella view of where we're actually at".

Hoskings said the Prime Minister made some "glaring errors" during her press conference on Thursday and said the Government's response to the pandemic went too far.

"She defended the potential charge of overreaction," Hosking told his listeners. "We don't want to confuse reaction with overreaction, she said, that's because that's exactly what she did do - she overreacted. The 1000 beds empty is proof of that. The ICU units that have barely been bothered is proof of that. The economic carnage is proof of that."

In response to Gayford's tweet, one person wrote: "Honestly just call Hoskings out directly, he sure as hell deserves it".

"The more these short-sighted opinions are broadcast, the more the rest of us unite," wrote another.

Hosking said Ardern had "a sort of Cinderella view of where we're actually at", saying the Government had "simply gone too far" in trying to eliminate the virus.

He compared the situation here to Australia, which he said had introduced less severe social distancing rules and yet still had case numbers that were "better, if not equal, of ours".

"Basically we have lost a month economically," Hosking said.

According to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine COVID-19 tracker, Australia has 6462 confirmed cases and 63 deaths, compared to 1401 cases and nine deaths in New Zealand.

Hosking's opinion sits in the face of modelling provided to the Ministry of Health that showed more than 14,000 Kiwis could die if the outbreak is not contained here.

When the modelling was made public late last month, Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield said such data showed why it was important to put a strict lockdown in place.