As coronavirus cases continue to surge in Victoria and prompt fears of a second wave, Senator Pauline Hanson says the reaction to the pandemic has been “blown completely out of proportion”.
The One Nation leader told Channel Nine’s Today show she wasn’t concerned over the increase in new cases, which saw nearly 100 infections added to Victoria’s tally over the weekend.
“Victoria’s got a bigger population, they’ve got more people coming in from overseas and of course they allowed that huge big rally to go ahead ... and they didn’t even find anyone ... I’m not worried about that,” she said.
A defiant Ms Hanson insisted her calls to reopen Queensland’s borders were justified despite Victoria’s surge in cases, lambasting Queensland’s government for “destroying” businesses that she says will never open their doors again.
“Forget about everyone else ... I think the COVID-19 has been a real scaremonger on the people,” she said.
“As far as I’m concerned, I think that this COVID-19 has been blown completely out of proportion.”
Ms Hanson said the majority of Australia’s 104 deaths were people who had underlying health problems and called for those who are vulnerable to “go and lock yourself away” while Australia “gets moving” and lifts its restrictions.
She said if Australia cannot return to a normal way of life soon, the economy will not recover “for generations”.
"I think that this COVID-19 has been blown completely out of proportion." @PaulineHansonOz on the current escalation of coronavirus cases in Victoria and the border closures. #9Today pic.twitter.com/PHXhLP3INk— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) June 28, 2020
Victoria’s cases ‘genuine concern’, deputy CMO says
Yet in stark contrast to Ms Hanson, Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd has described the growing number of coronavirus cases in Victoria as concerning.
Sunday’s 49 cases were the highest daily number for Victoria in nearly three months.
Professor Kidd said the growing number of cases in Victoria was "of genuine concern" but maintained the commonwealth government fully supported the way the outbreak is being handled.
He tried to downplay the growing fears Victoria is heading into a second wave which has prompted panic buying not only in the state but across the country.
"This is not a second wave," he told reporters in Canberra on Sunday.
"What we're seeing in Victoria is exactly what was planned when we have outbreaks occurring across the country."
Yet he warned “this pandemic is not over” and urged everyone to play their part in preventing its spread.
"You may not get sick or very sick if you become infected with COVID-19, but if you pass the infection onto your parents or your grandparents they could become very unwell, they could even die.
"We all must take personal responsibility for preventing the ongoing transmission of COVID-19.
"The symptoms may be mild in one person and life-threatening in another."
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