Karl Stefanovic's awkward Covid exchange with Scott Morrison: 'Are you okay?'

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Scott Morrison's "croaky" voice while speaking with the Today show on Thursday prompted the host to question whether the prime minister was feeling ill.

Speaking with Karl Stefanovic, Mr Morrison discussed the Solomon Island's prime minister's condemnation of Australia, and also the Reserve Bank's lifting of interest rates.

However, throughout the interview which spanned some seven minutes, it appeared as though Mr Morrison's voice was somewhat croaky, so Stefanovic asked if he was okay.

"PM, are you okay — you sound croaky? You haven't got the 'vid [Covid] again, have you?" Mr Stefanovic asked.

Scott Morrison's croaky voice prompted Karl Stefanovic to ask whether the PM had Covid again. Source: Today Show
Scott Morrison's croaky voice prompted Karl Stefanovic to ask whether the PM had Covid again. Source: Today Show

In March this year, Mr Morrison tested positive for Covid-19 and made a full recovery.

Mr Morrison said he was "fighting fit", to which Mr Stefanovic said, "that's a denial".

"I wish you all the very best. Not easy at the moment, is it with the flu and Covid," Mr Stefanovic said.

"I'm feeling great, how are you feeling, Karl?" the PM retorted.

"I feel terrific. I haven't got any croaks. I have a few croaks in the bones. Other than that I'm perfectly fine. Thank you. Good luck today," Mr Stefanovic said.

PM responds to criticism from the Solomon Islands

During the Today interview, Mr Morrison gave assurances Australia has a strong relationship with the Solomon Islands.

On Wednesday, Mr Morrison admitted he had not been in contact with the Solomon Islands Prime Minister Mannasseh Sogavare since the country's security pact with China was signed.

On day 25 of the Federal Election campaign on Thursday, both Mr Morrison and Labor leader Anthony Albanese started out in Sydney.

Mr Morrison says 400,000 new small businesses can be created over the next five years if his Liberal-National government is returned at the May 21 election.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison at a press conference on Day 25 of the 2022 federal election campaign, in Granville in Sydney, in the seat of Parramatta.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australia will continue to work with the Solomon Islands, despite the criticisms. Source: AAP

The coalition is offering lower taxes, less red tape and energy efficiency to encourage more small businesses to set up shop, building on its efforts to support a similar number in the past five years.

Mr Albanese will make his election pitch to industry leaders at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry today, stressing the need for economic reform.

"A country cannot keep drawing from an old well, because the well eventually dries out," he will say.

"Australia needs a new playbook to seize the future."

Among the measures proposed by Mr Albanese is universal childcare, which he says will support workforce participation.

Morrison and Albanese weigh in on working with Independents

Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese reacts during a press conference at the Smart Energy Council Conference and Exhibition on Day 25 of the 2022 federal election campaign
Australian Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese will pitch to industry leaders on Thursday, stressing economic reform. Source: AAP

Meanwhile, both Mr Albanese and Mr Morrison gave their take on the possibility of working with Independent candidates.

Mr Albanese told ABC Radio he was focused on getting Labor at least 76 seats in the House of Representatives.

"If that occurs, I will give respect not just to the crossbenchers, but to the other side as well," he told ABC radio," he said.

"That's the way that I operated as leader of the government in the House of Representatives during the Gillard government, treating people with respect."

Mr Morrison said a "vote for independents is a vote for chaos". He has been accused of avoiding inner-city seats such as Wentworth and North Sydney where sitting Liberal MPs are being challenged by independents, due to his unpopularity with voters.

With AAP

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