Lee Hsien Loong; Straits Times

In response to the shortage of face masks, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong claimed the stock depleted because Singaporeans are wearing masks “three to four times a day”:

“Singapore has a sufficient stockpile to cater to everyone but not enough if people wore three or four masks a day.”

Going against advice from the World Health Organisation, the Singapore dictator also claimed that wearing a mask is “counterproductive” because it gives a “false sense of security”:

“Wearing one could prove to be counterproductive. It may give you a false sense of security. You think you are safe, but in fact, your hands are dirty, your mask may be dirty when you take off your mask, you touch it. That’s when you get infected not when you wear your mask.”

Lee Hsien Loong also claimed that Singapore doctors advised against people wearing masks on the street:

“The doctors do not advise us all to wear masks walking around, it is not helpful.”

Singapore’s 5.7 million population requires 160 million masks a month, and the country ran out of stock in less than a week after the first local case surfaced.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also claimed that there are fake news being fabricated because some people have “malicious and deliberate” intent:

“While some untruths are spread because people are uncertain and fearful of the situation, there are also people with more malicious and deliberate intentions. We’ve acted promptly against them using Pofma, and we are very diligent in putting out information as quickly as we get it and as quickly as we can verify it, in order to make sure that people know what it is, what is the truth.”