Australian Health Minister Asked to Explain Tweets at Daily COVID-19 Update

August 10, 2020 Updated: August 12, 2020

Health Minister Jenny Mikakos has reiterated her focus on the “fight” against the COVID-19 outbreak in Victoria after journalists asked the minister to elaborate on a series of Twitter posts from Aug. 8.

The thread that drew links between Ancient Greece and the Victorian government’s virus response also included an apology by Mikakos who said she was “deeply sorry” if she had not done all in her power “to keep everyone safe.”

For several weeks Mikakos has experienced increasing scrutiny for her part in the failed Victorian hotel quarantine system, with calls coming for her to stand down.

It is alleged that Victoria’s quarantine system is the origin of the current second wave of the  CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus that Victoria is enduring.

Speaking at the press conference on Aug. 10 Mikakos explained that the posts on Twitter were an attempt to shift focus onto the COVID-19 response rather than her.

“I’ve been concerned that the focus hasn’t been, in terms of the public commentary, on the fight against the virus, and I think that’s absolutely where the focus needs to be right now,” she said noting that this should be the common purpose for all Victorians.

“There are more and more Victorians losing loved ones each and every day and I know that is heartbreaking for all Victorians,” she said

“We are the front line and we can turn it around if we all focus on the task at hand,” Mikakos explained.

“Mistakes Were Made Along the Way”

While drawing comparisons between the plague of ancient Athens (430-427 BC) and Victoria’s virus second wave, Mikakos admitted mistakes were made in Victoria’s response to the global pandemic.

She also noted that due to the rarity of the pandemic governments had no manual to follow and had to respond to the evolving situation rapidly.

This she said in another post meant that errors occurred because the “work needed to be done quickly and nimbly because the virus would not wait and no doubt, mistakes were made along the way, because humans are flawed yet contagious viruses are unforgiving.”

When asked what mistakes Mikakos was speaking of at the Aug. 10 press conference Mikakos said: “I won’t be a commentator on myself.”

“There is an independent process underway and I think it is important that that process is allowed to do its job without me or anyone else providing a daily running commentary,” said Mikakos.

COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry

The Victorian government established a Board of Inquiry into Victoria’s COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Program on July 2.

It has since been revealed that security guards were not given training or provided with PPE by private security firms who hired guards from a WhatsApp message.

Senior health officers in the Victorian government also knew about the “ill-equipped” private security guards a month before the first case was recorded.

Hearings for the inquiry have occurred on the July 20 and Aug. 5 and will continue on Aug. 17.