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How the PM’s refusal to isolate puts everyone at risk

Yesterday, Friday March 13th, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton announced that he’d tested positive for the COVID-19 virus earlier in the day, and was in hospital in Brisbane.

Dutton returned from a visit to the US on Sunday, March 8, and attended a cabinet meeting with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and other ministers on Tuesday.

Dutton stated that he woke up on Friday morning with a sore throat and fever, immediately sought testing, immediately received the result, and was immediately hospitalised.

On Thursday,March 12, Senator Derryn Hinch revealed he’d heard a federal minster had tested positive for the virus, and had cancelled all meetings. Hinch is not clairvoyant, one assumes, and the minister in question was either Peter Dutton, or another infected minister who is yet to be named.

Mr Dutton claims to have woken up symptomatic on Friday, yet as nobody else has emerged as a contender, it’s reasonable to assume that Hinch’s information on Thursday  was in fact about the Home Affairs Minister’s situation.

This seems to suggest that Mr Dutton is misleading the public about the date his symptoms manifested, given that we can safely assume Mr Hinch is not a prophet. There is little else in this story that we can safely assume to be true.

The deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, advised the Prime Minister that he and other cabinet members present at that meeting do not need to self-isolate or seek testing for the virus, as Dutton was infectious for only 24 hours prior to displaying symptoms.

This is an astounding claim. The World Health Organisation advises that as far as we currently know, people carrying the virus are infectious for between 24 and 48 hours prior to symptoms manifesting.

 …we are learning that there are people who can shed COVID-19 virus 24-48 hours prior to symptom onset…

Noteworthy here is a) we are learning, and b) shedding can occur 24-48 hours prior to symptom onset.

The deputy Chief Medical Officer is apparently advising the government in contradiction of the findings of the World Health Organisation, and one has to ask oneself, why?

Morrison has since announced that he and his cabinet will not self-isolate, and will not seek testing. He has based this decision on the deputy CMO’s advice. We are now faced with the bizarre possibility that our most senior government members, according to WHO advice, have been exposed to the virus while interacting with a confirmed case, in a closed room, for several hours, and by their refusal to self-isolate, are prime suspects in its possible transmission.

Apparently the government and the deputy CMO cannot be trusted to properly inform the public on the matter of COVID-19. Quite where the deputy CMO acquired his definitive knowledge on the transmission period for the virus is unclear: nowhere have I been able to find support for his assertion, indeed, the overwhelming impression, trawling through international and domestic reports, is that to date, the period when a carrier is infectious is unclear and still speculative. And yet, the Morrison government has chosen to disregard this global reality, and work on the assumption that they are safe from the possibility of infection. As they are not self-isolating, they are risking transmitting the infection to everyone they come in contact with, including their own families.

If you are now feeling as if you’ve fallen down the rabbit hole, you are not alone. Far from a government that is strong, proactive and reassuring during a pandemic, we are faced with the possibility of a government that is possibly actively expanding transmission, with the most cavalier disregard for the consequences of its actions. In the general population, ordinary citizens are self-isolating for much less, and being encouraged to do so.

Mr Dutton did not only attend the cabinet meeting. He’s flown on planes, he’s been at the Sunshine Coast, and has interacted with his staff and family. Anybody who has had close contact with him has the absolute right to know when he became symptomatic.

And the deputy Chief Medical Officer needs to publicly address the contradiction between his assertions and the claims of the WHO, as do the health departments that are advising a 24 hour infectious window in apparent disregard of international guidelines.

The reality is we do not know with certainty, which is why a fourteen day isolation period was decided upon in the first place.

Misinformation puts everyone at risk. Demanding full, honest and reliable information on the virus is not “panicking” or “hysteria.” It’s common sense, and it is every single person’s right to know what we are facing. The government needs to do its job, and provide this information immediately, or step away entirely form this situation and allow independent, non-politicised experts to inform us.

UPDATE:

Peter Dutton has just admitted in a radio interview that he became symptomatic on Wednesday, not Friday as he stated in his press release. This means anyone in contact with him on Tuesday must self-isolate.

The reason for this latest falsehood is not clear to this writer.

This article was originally published on No Place For Sheep.

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34 comments

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  1. Jimmy Riddle

    I think he should call a Coalition joint party meeting and insist that Dutton attend and they all shake his hand.
    God wouldn’t let THEM be struck down by his latest invention, surely?!

  2. Pingback: How the PM’s refusal to isolate puts everyone at risk #newsoz.org #auspol - News Oz

  3. Kronomex

    Scotty from Marketing seems to have a martyr/messiah complex. Look at me, I’m still working and showing how good I am and you can ( gag, choke) trust me to look after the country. Maybe he thinks dog wouldn’t let him, one of the chosen, contract the virus. It’s more than probable that he just can’t and won’t, under any circumstances, let someone take over if he gets the virus. He put too much effort into backstabbing his way to the top job and be damned if he has to step away even temporarily.

  4. Baby Jewels

    “I don’t think Australia can trust their Chief Medical Officer. All the language he is using is political – it’s not what I’m hearing from medical experts. He’s also using recently outdated advice to defend politicians.In particular, research released this week from very reputable agencies in Denmark and Sweden suggests that you are more likely to catch the virus from someone in the days before they are symptomatic.”

  5. Olivia Manor

    Given that many ultra Christian sects are preaching that their members are/ will be safe from the coronavirus, because God will protect them, Morrison probably feels very safe in the knowledge that his Pentecostal God will make sure he doesn’t catch anything. On the other hand, karma can be a bitch!

  6. pierre wilkinson

    good on him, I hope that he is infected and passes it on to all his senior colleagues
    we might then get some decent government directives
    although the pentecostal party might view it slightly differently if they all travel home abroad carrying Scott’s personal covid 19 with them

  7. David Stakes

    Perhaps Morrison wants to take one for the team, with the proviso that it will have the best medical facilities available. Just like Dutton.

  8. Carol Taylor

    So we have Dutton lying about when he became symptomatic. He originally said Friday perhaps not realising that Derryn Hinch had already provided the news Thursday afternoon. Friday let Morrison et al off the hook, assisted by the Assistant CMO who came up with the figure of 24hrs. From what I can find, the incubation period is thought to be 1-14 days with the most common period seeming to be 5 days.

    Doesn’t this seem highly reminiscent of Morrison’s attitude towards the bushfires? As long as it didn’t interfere with his sport or holiday, then the country could just manage as best it could. Morrison’s resentment at having to cut his holiday short by a whole 2 days was obvious. Likewise yesterday evening’s sulk about not going to the footy. Is this the best we can do for leadership. Casual shelf packers are prepared to self-isolate and pay the rent and buy food ‘somehow’, yet our PM refuses to self-isolate and sulks at missing a game of footy.

  9. Harry Lime

    Hey, the “Miracle Man’ is an unreconstructed, lying arsehole,Who knew?He deserves everythin g that’s coming his way.

  10. johno

    Israel Folau will probably tell us if we stop sinning and repent the virus will go away.

  11. Kaye Lee

    If AIDS was god’s retribution for a dissolute lifestyle, who is god punishing now? I don’t wish harm to anyone but the schadenfreude of the crazy rhetoric of the past is impossible to ignore.

  12. Kaye Lee

    “Home Affairs Peter Dutton has been told by Queensland health experts he contracted the coronavirus on Wednesday morning.”

    Wow. Nowhere else in the world have they any such test that can tell you exactly when you contracted the disease. Amazing work Queensland health – or not. If he got it on Wednesday morning, he started exhibiting symptoms way quicker than anyone else.

    I find it VERY difficult to believe that any health professional said that.

    https://www.9news.com.au/national/dutton-was-not-infectious-in-washington/a926b84d-d88f-48e0-bf67-321e16f6d4dc

  13. Harry Lime

    Kaye Lee, also impossible to believe ANYTHING that this proven half wit government utters.Outrageous and constant lies have destroyed all credibility in this flange of pretenders.Just what the country needs at this moment in time.
    Or not.
    Hello Karma my old friend, I’ve come to kick your arse again.

  14. Kerri

    It disturbs me greatly that US officials with whom Dutton met, are claiming no need to self isolate given Dutton was “asymptomatic” when they met with him.
    Hmmmm……. most viral diseases that I know of are contagious prior to symptoms.
    I totally agree that our health officers appear to be working to a different set of values than usual, but the US is way worse.
    Have we halted all flights from the US yet?
    A friend, whose has lived in the US for many years, noted on Facebook that her friends flew into NYC and arrived with zero temperature checks, zero questioning regarding health or exposure.
    Nothing! Nada!
    This is what happens with politicians whose first priority is economic rather than for it’s citizenry.
    The virus will explode in the US.
    Partly due to Trump’s general idiocy. Partly due to a lack of sick leave and partly due to a lack of health cover.
    Trevor Noah did a very interesting analysis of Trump’s speech re COVID19.
    https://youtu.be/iNObUJDhE_Q

  15. Michael Taylor

    So we are to believe that Dutton had the shortest incubation period yet recorded.

    No way.

  16. Carol Taylor

    So we now have two stories..with variations. One story is that Dutton ‘contracted’ Coronavirus Wednesday. The other story is that he contracted the virus while in the USA and as a result of Dutton’s diagnosis, both Ivanka Trump and William Barr were ‘working from home’.

    So if Dutton contracted the virus, not in the USA but in Australia who did he catch it from and if so might it even be Morrison or one of Cabinet. And shouldn’t they ALL be tested? How odd that Ms Trump and Mr Barr should self-isolate because of meeting with Dutton. How odd that others on Dutton’s flight have been advised to self-isolate.

    Is this typical Morrison lying when the truth would suffice..a bit like his Hawaiian holiday and inviting Houston to the White House. Lie about it when Freddy’s dog could tell you that the more fibs, the more speculation and the deeper the hole you dig for yourself.

  17. Kathy

    It’s definitely time that anyone arriving from anywhere, into Australia go into mandatory 14 day isolation.

  18. Michael Taylor

    Kathy, we should be taking NZ’s lead.

  19. Nick C

    There are medical articles reporting that people can become shredders – capable of transmitting a virus – within a few hours of contracting Corona virus.
    Basically the virus is spreadable while people are not showing any sign of infection, which is why viruses with a long asymptomatic periods can spread so quickly. The average time frame for people to show symptoms is between 2-8 days according to the WHO. This is just the average; other people have not shown symptoms for over three weeks.

  20. Michael Taylor

    The best advice that Morrison can come up with so far is not to sneeze on anybody. 😳

  21. Stephengb

    What is this world that we have become ?

    Self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest, followed by self interest.

    Etcetera. Etcetera, Etcetera.

  22. John OCallaghan

    Im surprised the virus did’nt reject the bastard altogether…..

  23. crypt0

    Would deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly ( who advised the Prime Minister that he and other cabinet members present at that meeting do not need to self-isolate or seek testing for the virus, as Dutton was infectious for only 24 hours prior to displaying symptoms) care to inform us just where he came up with information at such variance to the WHO?
    No doubt it would suit ScumMo to cancel parliament for six or twelve months, given the possibility of so many honourale members becoming indisposed.
    Plus … like Kathy said …
    “anyone arriving from anywhere, into Australia go into mandatory 14 day isolation.”

  24. Michael Schoen

    It’s fair to say Scomo is running a temprature after todays results. 🐇itohs

  25. Mark Richards

    I was thinking that Christmas Island would be a good place to send Peter Dutton for isolation after all we have spent all that money to get it up and running again

  26. Josephus

    The whole cabinet should go into hiding for 2 weeks, thus proving their uselessness. It is a disgrace that some toady exonerated the Minister and PM. That man must be exposed, sacked. He has capitulated to power, endangering the people they , cough, serve. How is it that anyone votes for these disgusting , selfish fools…

  27. New England Cocky

    Obviously Benito Duddo is telling porky pies through his teeth about everything COVID-19. Self isolation for two months on Manus or Christmas Island without any contact with the outside world would be the optimum prognosis.

    @Kronomex: Astute observation of the Prim Monster.

    @Baby Jewels: Obviously we have to take every utterance from politicians with a dose of salt and in this case a cup of tea, a Bex and a good lie down.

    @Olivia Manor: Is this the first horse of the much anticipated Apocalypse?

    The sooner COVID-19 permanently removes this Smirkie Sacked from Marketing Liarbral Nazianal$ misgovernment from office the better.

  28. Kathryn

    Well, well, well! We ALL suspected that Dutton is a vile, malignant and toxic human being – NOW, it appears, our suspicions have finally been confirmed! The fact that this useless, callously inhumane, totally depraved and corrupt government is now going VIRAL is of no surprise! If the sociopathic Potato Head, the failed marketing man known as the LIAR FROM THE SHIRE and the rest of the poisonous LNP cabinet were FORCED into self-isolation for a year it is unlikely that anyone would notice – such is the level of their non-achieving ineptitude! The fact that these grubs and career parasites are sucking up the highest political wages in the world – getting an undeserved OBSCENE salary for complete lack of leadership, wreaking havoc, spreading chaos, quadrupling our national deficit into financial ruin and, no doubt, the onset of a terrifying recession; the fact that these oxygen thieves have caused unsurpassed environmental damage, destroyed the longest river system in the country, thrived on hate, panic, fear and division throughout our nation – is a tragedy akin to the Black Plague!

  29. Robin Alexander

    Truly any wonder population in panic mode with this gov. All over the place but absolutely no notices in papers TV anything for Citizens advise giving steps what to do what not to do? Should people provide house for shut down?how long could it be? If living on New Start how one can cope locked up little money to have pantry food for 2weeks morePLAIN SIMPLE ADVISE FOR ALL PEOPLE ALL CICUMSTANCES ALL AGES PLEASE SADLY LACKING? HOPELESS GOVERNMENT WORSE PM telling everyone to go into lockdown but refuses himself orvhis cabinet! Anyone seen sight of McCORMACK fallen of the earth since parliament finished DEPUTY LEADER not sign of him? He got vires off DUTTON we wonder? All think Pm looks scratchy! Wonder why?Dutton mixing with 3300 happy Clappers so many from States including HOUSTON think their prayers save em all?crazy bastards lot of them! imposing pain misery on AUSTRALIANS! many of devout followers high ranking in gov like PM! Ruin this country stripping it bare of riches and good honest people lives a misery!

  30. nick kors

    facebook pulled this post down when i shared it, l have reposted

  31. The AIM Network

    Hi nick,

    This happened to all our articles. Facebook have announced that it was due to a bug in their system, and are busy working on fixing it. Most of our articles have now been restored.

  32. Merkin Wryneck

    Dutton might just have the blight.

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