By The Bug’s national politics and international editor Iain Harsher
A modest Scott Morrison has downplayed his role in saving the life of his Defence Minister Linda Reynolds by alerting her cardiologist to a heart issue he had overlooked.
“I’m sure Linda would still be with us even if I hadn’t spotted the additional problem that I believe can now be managed through drugs and not require any surgery,” the Prime Minister told me.
I can reveal exclusively that the additional heart condition previously unspotted by a now highly embarrassed heart specialist came when the Father of our Nation rang him to discuss the minister’s health.
“I know just how desperately keen Linda was to address yesterday’s National Press Club and I knew she would have been absolutely devastated to miss that when the old ticker started to play up in the early hours of yesterday morning,” ScoMo told me.
“Knowing that going to hospital would have been the last thing she wanted to happen because she was very keen to explain to the media how incessantly and how vigorously she had urged Brittany Higgins to go to police with her rape claim way back when I didn’t know about it, I quickly realised she was in serious medical trouble which is why I rang her cardiologist to find out more.
“It was during our 40-minute Zoom meeting while we were reviewing Linda’s medical file that I noticed something on one of her most recent MRIs.
‘“I said to her specialist: ‘That’s some serious wall thickening happening there on her superior vena cava!’ and I could tell by the silence that followed that maybe I had spotted something that he had missed. And it turned out I was right.
“He said to me after what seemed like an eternity: ‘You’re right, prime minister. I was more focused on wear and tear on the left ventricle and micro bicuspid valve beyond what you should see in a woman of her age. I feel like an absolute goose’.
“I told him: ‘Don’t beat yourself up over it. The heart is a very complex organ and it’s so easy to miss things’.”
I’m told that when the Prime Minister told Ms Reynolds that she would soon be back to full fitness and could address the National Press Club fairly soon, she broke down and sobbed so uncontrollably that she had to be sedated.
The Prime Minister’s life-saving intervention, on the back of his seamless rollout of the COVID-19 vaccination program – indeed his inspired national leadership through the entire coronavirus fightback and the way in which he has brilliantly moved to the centre of Australian politics, dominating the agenda by taking the wind well and truly out of the sails of the Labor Opposition over key issues such as climate change, will make Mr Morrison unbeatable whenever the next federal election is held.