Premier Daniel Andrews lashes Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt for ‘insulting’ Victorians

After he indicated the state was able to reopen, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews threatened Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt.

On Saturday, the state registered only one new infection, something Hunt suggested meant that Victoria would be ““able to move to the next step in line with New South Wales”.

Hunt added, ““The epidemiological conditions for a Covid Safe reopening of hospitality, movement & family reunions among others, have now been firmly met.”

He said, : “Minister Hunt is not an epidemiologist, he speaks to others who might have differing opinions,” when Chief Health Officer Professor Brett Sutton was asked for his take on the tweet.

“We are not in an equivalent position,” he added.

Sutton said that while “fantastic” were the recent low numbers, the state recorded “15 a few days before that.”

“We will be making announcements tomorrow and there will be an easing and we will continue to go through that process, which I have optimistically referred to as a one-way process.

“We want to go to an easing, where there is no backwards step, where we do it with the confidence that it can stay that way and that everyone can enjoy that into the long term.”

After Sutton’s more “constrained” response, Andrews stepped in to personally address the tweet.

“If Minister Hunt is genuinely suggesting that we are keeping this lockdown on because somehow we think Victorians are enjoying it or it is a choice that we are making, this is just – it’s just wrong,” he said.

“No matter what I announce tomorrow, and what that says to me is that we’re not going to be pressured, we’re not going to be engaging in what I think is a political exercise. It does no credit to those involved in it.

“I will say it again, politics, this sort of stuff doesn’t work, it doesn’t work against this virus.

“It’s an insult to the sacrifices Victorians have made.”

“Whilst people are entitled to different views, some people should reflect on the fact that they are in fact a Health Minister and that actually requires a certain standard, I would have thought.

“We will see this thing off and we will do it properly.

“I have probably said more than I frankly intended to and more than I am inclined to about people who are, I think, playing games.

“This is not a game. The stakes are too high.”

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