Arlene Foster has paid a glowing tribute to those who answered a desperate appeal for off-duty healthcare staff to work as hospitals struggled to cope with a rise in Covid patients.
Instead of offering her gratitude, she should have been saying sorry, because much of the responsibility for the current crisis lies on Stormont's shoulders.
Every single political party here was aware that having a very Merry Christmas would mean funerals and rising hospital admissions in the New Year. Political cowardice meant that the Executive went ahead and lifted restrictions in the full knowledge that a very heavy price would be paid.
Official statistics show that those crowds of shoppers, packed restaurants, and large family gatherings came at a very cruel cost.
In mid-December, our health service was already under huge pressure and there were warnings that the third wave of coronavirus could be the most dangerous. We were also told of new strains of the disease.
Covid didn't know it was Christmas. It followed no calendar. Yet Stormont behaved as though it did. When quizzed about the wisdom of lifting restrictions for Christmas on Monday, Foster stressed that it was a unanimous Executive decision.
The DUP will clearly win no awards for putting public health first during this pandemic, but why did Sinn Fein, Alliance, the SDLP and Ulster Unionists support the plan?
Some argued that the parties really had no other option as the public weren't in the mood for a cautious Christmas. "The Executive had to let the air out of the balloon," says a Stormont source. "Even if they hadn't, people would have done what they wanted anyway."
He has a point, and it's not just up here that recklessness ruled. The Irish Government loosened restrictions significantly in December and now has the world's highest infection rate.
The Executive handled the first four months of the pandemic fairly well. It's all been downhill since the Bobby Storey funeral in July. Sinn Fein severely damaged its Covid credibility by so blatantly breaching the rules, but that doesn't let Foster's party off the hook.
How can the DUP have any moral authority when it used a cross-community veto to block health proposals? When one of its ministers sectarianised the pandemic? When four of its MPs voted against lockdown restrictions in England just last week? When Sammy Wilson either won't wear a face mask or won't wear it properly? When the Education Minister repeatedly buried his head in the sand on closing schools and the transfer test?
Foster and O'Neill haven't hosted a joint Executive press conference in a month, but they're expected to do so on Thursday. Regardless of what they say, will anybody even be listening?