Politics

ScoMo Held A Late Night Presser To Announce A Bunch Of Things That Should’ve Already Happened

Nothing like a panicked 8pm press conference just to highlight your own incompetence.

scott morrison 8pm press conference covid

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

In case you missed it, Scott Morrison held a press conference at 8pm last night to give an update on Australia’s current COVID-19 situation.

Now with the current climate of growing clusters of the Delta variant, city-wide lockdowns, and total border closures for some parts of the country, one would expect a strange nighttime press conference to reveal some new and important information, right?

Well, you’d be wrong. Instead of the Prime Minister using a press conference after a National Cabinet emergency meeting to ease some of Australia’s worries, Scott Morrison just announced a whole bunch of things that should’ve happened a very long time ago effectively dunking on himself and his own incompetence.

Some 18 months since the pandemic started, the Prime Minister finally announced that COVID-19 vaccinations for all residential aged care workers and all quarantine workers will now be mandatory — a decision that should’ve been made the second vaccines were made available to Australians.

While the responsibility to mandate quarantine worker vaccinations — including those transporting travellers and workers — will fall on individual states and territories, the commonwealth is responsible for aged care vaccinations.

To assist this aged care vaccination plan, Scott Morrison shared that an $11 million grant has been created for aged care facilities to offset the leave needed for staff to get the jab.

The grant is in place to ensure that all aged care workers will be able to get their first vaccine dose by mid-September by covering the time it takes to get the shot, and any additional sick leave “where a person may be experiencing some discomfort following a vaccination”.

Along with this long-overdue announcement, ScoMo also noted that “Day 16” COVID-19 tests were now mandatory for those leaving hotel quarantine after their two-week stay.

With the highly infectious Delta variant of COVID-19 spreading through Australia — which still currently has unbelievably low vaccination numbers at a measly 4.8 percent — increased testing for returning travellers is essential.

This “Day 16” test will occur two to three days after quarantine to ensure a person is not carrying coronavirus into the community. Along with the returned traveller, close contacts during their first few days back home will have to be tested, too.

The Prime Minister also shared that travellers will now finally be separated in different quarantine facilities based on risk levels to “ensure that [low risk, domestic travellers] are not in any proximity to those who are international returns, or, indeed near any other high-risk quarantine residents”.

Again, more preventative measures that should have, and easily could have, been happening long before now to help control the community spread of COVID-19.

Thankfully the government have also finally decided to make vaccines more easily accessible to the general public by allowing GPs to administer AstraZeneca to anyone under 40 who wants it.

Implementing a new no-fault indemnity scheme for GPs, this scheme allows young people to get vaccinated faster if they are willing to take on the (very low) risk of blood clots that may come with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“If you wish to get the AstraZeneca vaccine, then we would encourage you to go and have that discussion with your GP, and we’ve already made announcements to support those additional consultations with the GPs so you can have that conversation,” Scott Morrison announced. “We are also providing the indemnity scheme for those general practitioners, so they can actively engage with you, and you can make the best decision for your health.”

“To get access to AstraZeneca, if they’re willing to take on that risk, if they wish to go and speak to their job or their doctor and have access to the AstraZeneca vaccine, they can do so.”

However, bafflingly, right after creating the option for young people to get vaccinated with their local GPs to speed up the vaccination process, Scott Morrison then shit all over the effectiveness of vaccines.

“The objective here, ultimately, is to get to a situation where, particularly through vaccination, you are preventing serious illness and indeed fatality from COVID-19,” ScoMo explained.

“But I want to stress we’re nowhere near that point at this stage, and even as the UK is finding with an 80 percent vaccinated population, they’re not there either because they’ve got over 100 people dying every week.”

Um… so as we’ve all been saying about Scott Morrison’s entire pisspoor vaccine rollout and basically all of his decisions over the last 18 months: What an absolute shitshow.