Prime Minister Scott Morrison was put on blast by Sunrise host Natalie Barr this morning over Australia’s COVID vaccine rollout.
The interview was centred around Sydney’s latest outbreak, which had increased by another 11 community cases on Thursday.
Nat questioned the PM about why the vaccine rollout has been so slow, with only 3 per cent of Australians fully vaccinated.
“The reason I’d caution you in using that number because it suggests that if you’ve had a first dose that you have no protection, and that’s just simply not true,” he rebutted.
He also explained the delay early on in the vaccine process was due to the non-delivery of several million AstraZeneca vaccines from overseas.
The Sunrise presenter then asked why Australia only has around 7 million people with some form of vaccination, while the US has over 177 million, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“We have got states around Australia closing their borders,” she began. “And holidays ruined and hundreds of millions of dollars of businesses in disarray today. What are we doing wrong?”
Morrison answered her question by bringing up coronavirus statistics from the UK, highlighting that while their vaccination rate is 81 per cent of people on their first dose, they are still getting 12,000 cases a day.
He also stressed that Australia currently doesn’t have anyone in ICU because of COVID.
“Our economy is bigger today than it was before the pandemic hit, and we’ve got more people in work today before the pandemic hit,” he emphasised.
“Yes, we will get outbreaks from time to time and we will deal with those outbreaks, but it would be a mistake to think that if you get high rates of vaccination that you won’t get cases. The UK is proving the exact opposite of that.”
Nat doubled down on the Prime Minister, asking if he believes there should be a national approach to stop state borders closing so often.
“In Australia, we don’t have the virus at the rates that we have in other countries,” he described.
“If we were to take those steps that some seem to be suggesting, we would have to be comfortable with 5,000 cases a day. Now I don’t think Australians would be happy with that.
“What we’re doing is we’re keeping our economy growing, and we’re keeping people safe and we’re doing that behind international borders.”
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