Barnaby Joyce Says The RAT Shortage Is Actually Your Fault For Buying Too Many Somehow


Turns out the government is not! to! blame!  for the RAT shortage ‘cos sorry it’s actually *your problem* for hoarding them.

Speaking to ABC Radio National on Monday morning, Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce slipped up and said people weren’t dying from COVID, and the government had done nothing wrong as usual because sneaky citizens were hoarding RATs and causing the shortage. 

“A lot of the time it’s even corporations or businesses that are buying up more than they require, it’s part and parcel,” he said.

“Hoarding has been a factor and we’ve got to make sure we manage that,” he said.

“You manage by finding the problems and working your way through them.”


When RN Breakfast host Patricia Karvelas questioned Joyce’s claim, he said people need to stop buying them so more people can buy them. 

“I’m blaming the fact that we have a virus out there, that people have been buying not what they require but more than they need.”

People have been quick to point out that it’s kind of impossible to hoard something that’s not available.

From today more than 6 million concession card holders will have access to free rapid antigen tests, but chemists are saying they simply do not have enough.

Pharmacists have been preparing for increased demand as 6.6 million Australians become eligible for 10 free tests per three months with a maximum of five per month.

The Age reported that the majority of test kits will go to big chains like Chemist Warehouse, leaving smaller outlets without.

Just 700 from about 5500 pharmacies nationwide not associated with Chemist Warehouse had rapid antigen tests available on Sunday morning according to the online register.

Pharmacies will be reimbursed $10 for each kit made free, but increased demand has seen wholesale prices not controlled by the government jump well above that. This means pharmacies would have to be out of pocket to buy them in the first place.

President of the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Dr Chris Freeman told the ABC that this scheme basically didn’t have much hope of working due to the low rebate — he said they needed to up it to $15 per kit — and high demand.

“[Pharmacists] are reporting that they’re receiving at least four calls per minute in relation to getting access to these rapid antigen tests,” he said.

“Those tests are extremely rare at the moment, which does push up the price — so the $10 plus GST [reimbursement] is a challenge, in terms of making sure that the pharmacies can buy them in at a price equal or lower to that.”

In response to Joyce’s comments this morning, opposition leader Anthony Albanese said on RN the hoarding claim was “extraordinary” and the problems lie with the roll out.

“For so many pensioners it will confirm [the problems with the RAT roll out] because they will rock up to their local chemist and there won’t be a rapid antigen test available,” he said.

“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.”

Joyce also apologised for saying that “people aren’t dying” from COVID on the program this morning.

He was forced to quickly correct himself during the interview while discussing the European Council’s classification of Australia as a COVID-19 danger zone, and the US now warning against travel here.

Barnaby Joyce: Well, people aren’t dying.

Patricia Karvelas: People are dying. People are dying every day.

Joyce: Sorry, sorry sorry. Yes, you are correct, I shouldn’t have said that. 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.

Sigh, just give me the red pill now and get me out of this hellsphere already.