Bill Shorten has slammed Australia’s Covid vaccine rollout as a “s*** show” during a passionate live TV interview.
The former Leader of the Opposition was speaking to ABC’s Afternoon Briefing host Patricia Karvelas on Monday when he said what he believes “millions of other Australians are thinking”.
The discussion began with Ms Karvelas asking Mr Shorten about Pfizer downplaying the role former prime minister Kevin Rudd played in fast-tracking shipments of vaccines to Australia.
“I think that Pfizer must be thinking ‘who the hell is running Australia?’” he said.
“If we believe the media reports from several sources, Pfizer were nonplussed by the Australian government's attitude last year to negotiating more Pfizer vaccines.
“I reckon Pfizer might be just tempted to give us our vaccines just to shut us up and forget about us,” he said.
Mr Shorten then took aim at Prime Minister Scott Morrison, saying he is “one of the most hands-off prime ministers since the Federation”.
“People are sick of the political class so let me just say for the record as a politician, the vaccine rollout in Australia is a s**t show,” he continued.
“Patricia, it is just a mess, and 'Scotty from Marketing' has got to take some of the responsibility for it.”
When Ms Karvelas reminded Mr Shorten that he had just sworn on national television, the politician said he was just saying “what about 25 million other people think”.
“At the end of the day, we’ve got people in Sydney who are locked down, people are making sacrifices, they're not able to go to work, they do expect the promise to be kept by their politicians in this case the state and federal governments,” he said.
“And the reality is there’s two promises for the sacrifices that our hardworking Sydneysiders and Melburnians have made previously, it is this: The government will get people vaccinated, and that they will provide financial support for people, and neither that has been forthcoming adequately in this latest outbreak.”
The availability of Pfizer and changing advice on the AstraZeneca jab have hampered the rollout, sparking criticism of the government's vaccine portfolio.
The government announced last week that arrivals of Pfizer doses are set to rise to about one million a week from July 19 and 4.5 million are expected to be available over August.
There have been 9,149,817 doses administered in the national Covid-19 vaccination rollout up to Sunday.
On Monday, Mr Morrison said the federal and NSW governments are finalising cashflow support for businesses as Sydney is like to endure an extended lockdown.
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