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FT editorial slams Australia’s covid rollout and Scott Morrison’s delays

A UK editorial has savaged Australia’s vaccine program, saying our covid response has seen us go from a “rooster to a feather duster”. The Financial Times has published an editorial slamming Scott Morrison’s claim that the vaccine rollout “is not a race”, saying Australia’s early wins against covid have been “squandered”. One day a rooster, the next a feather duster,” the editorial starts, and it doesn’t get anymore complimentary from there.

The Financial Times (FT) said Australia “deployed an enviable test and tracing system that has helped to keep its total Covid-19 death toll at 910. That is fewer than countries such as the UK have at times recorded in one day.

“Australia now stands as a warning to other nations, not least neighboring New Zealand, that a fortress approach to the virus cannot succeed in the absence of an effective vaccine program.

Just over 10 percent of Australia’s population has been fully vaccinated.

The FT took aim at the Prime Minister, saying he had been sending the wrong message on the importance of the vaccine rollout. “It’s not a race,’ Prime Minister Scott Morrison insisted in March, as concerns grew about what critics have called a vaccine ‘rollout,” the Financial Times said.

“He was wrong. Having squandered its early victory over the virus, despite being one of the world’s wealthiest countries, Australia now faces a costly round of restrictions as it struggles to protect a largely unimmunized population from outbreaks of the highly contagious Delta variant.”

The FT predicted that Australia would pay a high price for vaccine failures that may eventually be unpopular at the ballot box. “Australia’s approach has been domestically popular until now. Polls show some three-quarters of the population have backed the border closures. Yet as a panel of experts wrote in a recent report on how the country could reopen.

‘Australia cannot continue to lock itself off from the world as a hermit nation indefinitely’. The social and economic costs are too significant, especially for younger people. The broader lesson for a world facing ever more virus variants is that glacial vaccine rollouts spell disaster, no matter how rich or hermetically sealed a country may be. Meanwhile, the BBC reported the backlash and “graphic depiction” of a young woman suffering from covid. The government advert shows the woman in a hospital bed gasping for air while hooked up to a ventilator.

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