NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian will stop holding daily coronavirus press conferences after this Sunday, and will instead call them on a “needs basis”, whatever that means.
Berejiklian made the announcement at Friday’s presser, where it was also announced that 1,542 local COVID-19 cases plus nine deaths were recorded overnight.
“From next week – I don’t know how this will be received – but the 11am information will be done by health staff through video link, and myself and [Health Minister Brad Hazzard] will intermittently hold press conferences as required,” Berejiklian said.
“So the weekend, Sunday, will be the last day we officially do a press conference in this way. But from Monday at 11am, [NSW Health] will provide the daily health update and myself or Minister Hazzard, or any other relevant Minister will present to the community on a needs basis.”
— Wade Shipard (@wadeshipard) September 10, 2021
When reporters pressed her about the decision, Berejiklian added: “To expect the Leader of the Government indefinitely to do this every day means that I am not doing my job properly.”
It’s not hard to imagine the physical and mental toll of holding daily coronavirus pressers, to be honest. During Victoria’s second wave, Premier Dan Andrews held 120 daily pressers in a row.
“If there is any important message, or any surge, or issue we need to communicate with myself, the Minister for Health or anybody else, we will do that, but we have to accept that life with COVID means all of us have to adjust,” the Premier continued.
“On the one hand, the community wants the information and is craving the information, and they want to hear from me and others but when we have something to say, apart from repeating the numbers that health repeats.
“We have to make sure we have something important to say and I think people understand the messaging.”
Next week, of course, is when Berejiklian has been warning us that cases are expected to peak.
Even at Friday’s press conference, she reiterated that “the modelling we released indicated we are expecting the peak number of cases to happen in the next week or so.”
Should NSW abandon daily press conferences at some point? Sure.
Do you abandon ship at moment of greatest crisis, when there are more cases than ever before ? No.
There’s a reason why abandoning a ship when you’re the captain used to be a crime
— Samantha Maiden (@samanthamaiden) September 10, 2021
So it will be very interesting to see how things go down when case numbers will be at their highest in Australia’s history and we don’t have daily press conferences to depend on for updates.
Everyone deserves a break, but this really is crap timing.
All adult Aussies (yep, even those of us under 40) are currently able to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Click here to see which clinics are offering it, and talk to a doctor for more info.
The best vaccine is the first one you can get, and that’ll be our ticket out of this mess.