The Federal Government Just Gave The Most Unhelpful Response To Victoria’s COVID-19 Roadmap

The federal government has responded to Victoria’s newly-announced roadmap out of Stage 4 restrictions, and it’s basically the most unhelpful reply ever.

In a joint statement released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Health Minister Greg Hunt, the government did express some support for Victorians and called for improvements to the healthcare system, but none of this was of much use in among the other drivel.

In the very first paragraph, the the politicians called Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews‘ announcement “hard and crushing news” and said it was “a further reminder of the impacts and costs that result from not being able to contain outbreaks of COVID-19.”

In the paragraphs that followed, the statement seemed to place more emphasis on “the economy” than the death toll or public health in general.

“The proposed roadmap will come at further economic cost,” it said (no shit).

“While this needs to be weighed up against mitigating the risk of further community outbreak, it is also true that the continued restrictions will have further impact on the Victorian and national economy, in further job losses and loss of livelihoods, as well as impacting on mental health.”

Obviously it’s important for businesses to be able to open again, and mental health is also a serious issue during lockdown. However, calling them out in bad faith does nothing to address either of these issues.

They went on to say that the federal government’s own experts and Chief Medical Officer will have to consider the Victorian modelling before they comment further, which is basically an admission that this reply is grounded in politics and not science.

The Liberal NSW state government was then brought up, for some reason.

“In NSW, [good contact tracing] has allowed the Berejiklian government to respond to multiple outbreaks while permitting businesses and people to carry out their daily lives in a COVIDSafe way,” they said.

“This is the way forward.”

Of course, while NSW is in a far better situation than Victoria at the moment, bringing it up while Victoria unveils its plan to get things under control feels very much like a ‘told you so’ moment from someone who didn’t actually tell anyone anything.

While the statement did note that Canberra would “continue to support Victorians ad the businesses that employ them”, many felt this was simply lip service at the end of an unhelpful and alienating statement.

On Twitter, people’s own reactions were pretty clear.

Maybe they should’ve waited until they consulted their own experts before releasing this statement.