The reaction to Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison’s handling of the Coronavirus pandemic has been mixed, to say the least. Some people have applauded his consistent effort, resilience and commitment to the Australia public by providing updates, listening to medical professionals and taking initiative. However, others have criticised the Prime Minister for not acting fast enough and selecting particular advice over others.
I believe that Scott Morrison’s response has been positive but far from perfect. In coming to that conclusion, I look at his actions during Australia’s bushfire crisis.
During the bushfire crisis, Scott Morrison left. He abandoned the country and left many to fight for themselves. His kind words didn’t reflect in his actions, and it took him months after the fires began to visit the NSW Rural Fire Service to thank the firefighters. Morrison was heavily criticised during the crisis, and most of it was granted. However, being a good leader involves learning from your mistakes. This is where Scott Morrison has demonstrated his leadership qualities.
Scott Morrison has learnt from his errors during the bushfire crisis. He has not disputed the possible consequences of Coronavirus that he has received from medical professionals but has continually accepted advice from those in the field. While other leaders such as Donald Trump and Giuseppe Conte have catastrophically failed in their response, Scott Morrison has to be commended. He changed his approach, he listened to others, he has been present every day of the crisis, and he has had a measured response.
However, his response has not been perfect. I’ve witnessed many people disregard any of his negative actions online and applaud his greatness. Why? I’m not sure, maybe his turn around following the bushfire crisis has been represented as momentous, but he is definitely worthy of criticism.
Scott Morrison was warned 12 weeks ago by the WHO about what was coming. He did not accumulate test kits. He did not accumulate the necessary emergency equipment. He did not undertake a public education campaign and did not give any money to science, research or the International Vaccine Institute.
Moreover, more than 2 weeks ago, almost 2,500 doctors urged the government to take immediate action on containment measures around the country. There was deep concern amongst the healthcare profession, however; Mr Morrison took his time, rather focusing on the stimulus packages before implementing the recommendations.
If it wasn’t for the remarkable leadership demonstrated by State Premiers Daniel Andrews in Victoria and Gladys Berejiklian in New South Wales, Australia’s response by Scott Morrison individually would be considered very poor. The state government in Australia has residual powers, but these Premiers have acted respectfully, and their communication has been much better than the confusion of the Prime Minister.
Scott Morrison, you have acted positively, but far from perfect. There is a long way to way to go in this pandemic, and there is time for Australia to recover and come out the other side still standing. The prime minister needs to invite people to help each other, and he needs to show humility, not anger.
Scott Morrison, I wish you all the best, I sincerely hope you can do it.