Politics

Barnaby Joyce Was Instantly Shut Down For Saying People Aren’t Dying Of COVID Right Now

Actually, that's not the truth, Barnaby.

barnaby joyce covid

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Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has been forced to apologise on breakfast radio after asserting that people “aren’t dying” from COVID-19 in Australia, which is absolutely not the truth.

In an interview with ABC’s RN Breakfast, host Patricia Karvelas asked the Deputy PM if Australia could still say we are “the envy of the world” now that the European Council has deemed us a COVID danger zone and the US is warning its citizens not to travel here.

“Well, people aren’t dying,” Joyce sensationally responded, despite the fact that 891 people have died with COVID in Australia since January 1.

Joyce was quickly called out on his blatant lie, with Karvelas noting that “people are dying every day” from COVID in Australia. The Deputy PM quickly backtracked on his comment, apologising and clarifying that he was referring to the relatively low mortality rate of the Omicron variant.

“Sorry, sorry sorry. Yes, you are correct, I shouldn’t have said that,” he said. “But the number in which – the fatality rate is very low…Obviously that is a tragic thing for anybody…[to die] for any reason — for catching the flu. But the fatality rate of Omicron is remarkably low and Australia has done a remarkable job.”

Throughout the interview, Joyce also asserted that panic buying is the reason for the rapid antigen test shortage that plagues Australia.

“People have been buying not what they require, but more than they need,” he told RN. “We have 16 million tests turning up by the end of the months…We have 70 million on order.

“It is not as if the tests aren’t there. The problems that Australia is experiencing is being experienced around the world.”

His comments come as more than six million Australians — in theory — will have access to free RATs from today. That is, of course, if they can manage to actually find any.

Joyce’s assertion that panic buying is to blame for RAT shortages was quickly refuted by opposition leader Anthony Albanese — who also appeared on RN Breakfast this morning.

“We all knew that once we opened up the increased number of infections, elimination tests would be an important part of the response to keep people safe, and the government simply didn’t do anything about it,” he told Karvelas.

Albanese also noted that people are “dying in record numbers”, despite Joyce’s sensational claim.

The comment come as Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt announced that it appears Australia has passed the peak of the Omicron outbreak, despite Australia recording its deadliest day of the pandemic so far on Friday.