PM’s 2020 hindsight

FEDERAL POLITICS:

Morrison Government insiders are for the first time starting to question the capacity of the Prime Minister to lead the nation and their party out of the coronavirus crisis.

Their concerns grew stronger after Scott Morrison fronted a media conference in Canberra where he outlined his plan for a post-pandemic Australia.

Mr Morrison said he had spent much of his time in isolation personally writing the plan. (main picture supplied by PMO )

“I am pleased to be out of isolation and to be here to outline my very timely and decisive plan of action for fighting the pandemic,” Mr Morrison said in his opening remarks at the news conference.

Mr Morrison then outlined a four-stage plan tied directly to his government’s efforts to deliver COVID-19 vaccinations:

  • to vaccinate all Australians as soon as possible
  • implementing inbound visitor caps
  • reducing restrictions in line with rising vaccination rates, and
  • a final stage of a “return to normal” for all Australians.

“This plan and its four steps are the strong and swift response Australians expect from their government and their prime minister,” Mr Morrison said.

“I am pleased and proud that in the short time since the pandemic struck, I have been able to put together a plan for action based on my and my government’s responsibilities and obligations to the Australian people.

“It’s evidence of my and my government’s ability to deliver decisive leadership in a crisis, just as we all saw in the terrible bushfires just a few months ago.

“Despite being in isolation here at The Lodge, I have been working tirelessly on this plan with key ministers, especially Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.”

Mr Morrison then launched a pre-emptive strike against likely questions from the assembled reporters to deny any political motivation in the timing of the plan’s release.

“This is a good plan to secure the health and future of our nation and want to take this opportunity – before any of you ask – to make it clear that we are not releasing it today just because the Eden-Monaro by-election is being held tomorrow.

“I also want to take the opportunity to publicly thank Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh for the messages of support they have sent to Commonwealth nations including Australia who have been fighting the coronavirus since the World Health Organisation declared the pandemic in March.

“On that note I also take the opportunity to make it clear that Australia would prefer the United States to remain a member of the World Health Organisation, and I have sent a message to President Donald Trump along those lines.”

Mr Morrison then closed the news conference saying he would not be answering any questions if they were asked on whether he would welcome President’s Trump’s re-election in November.