Rethinking Wales: Has Wales Performed Well in our Covid Response?


Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA)

The IWA’s #RethinkingWales series explores the challenges we face because of Covid-19, and works out the opportunities for change.

Rethinking Wales: Has Wales performed well in our Covid response?

An open, politically independent and inclusive space for discussion and debate is the best way to identify the challenges we face in Wales because of Covid-19, and work out where the opportunities for real change are.

We are well placed to bring those voices together, and the IWA’s #RethinkingWales series (supported by the Carnegie UK Trust) will explore how various sectors need to respond to this crisis and how we need to start thinking differently.

Has Wales actually performed better than other nations so far in our Covid response? Polling suggests that people in Wales think the Welsh Government has done a better job than the UK government in keeping us safe during the pandemic.

Statistics show that after the first wave, excess deaths in England were 46% higher than last year, and in Wales only 26% higher, but should we have set a far higher bar for our response than just ‘being better than England’? Or have we done as well as what could be expected under the circumstances?

In this session we hope to explore:

  • Why aren’t we talking more about what better-performing countries have done, and why we haven’t copied them?
  • Could the Welsh Government have done more to clarify public health messaging?
  • What is the Welsh Government not doing right now that could be helping control rising cases?
  • Could Wales and the UK have had a better outcome from the pandemic?
  • What can Welsh policy makers do to learn the lessons of Covid-19?


  • Welcome & introduction – Auriol Miller, Director, IWA (Chair)
  • Panel session (approximately 30 minutes)
  • Q&A session with audience (approximately 15 minutes)


  • Patience Bentu, Community Engagement Officer, Race Council Cymru
  • Eifion Evans, Chief Executive, Ceredigion County Council
  • Dr Richard Stanton, Reader in Virology, Cardiff University
  • Dr Eilir Hughes, GP and campaigner

This is an hour long panel discussion on Zoom chaired by the IWA Director, Auriol Miller, and attendees will be able to engage in debate and ask questions on the live chat.

The Rethinking Wales series has been kindly supported by Carnegie UK Trust.