Treasurer reveals coronavirus test result after coughing fit

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has tested negative to coronavirus following a coughing fit in parliament on Tuesday.

"Yesterday I was tested for COVID-19 out of an abundance of caution on the advice of the Deputy Chief Medical Officer. This morning I received the result of the test which was negative," he tweeted in Wednesday.

The coughing fit happened as Mr Frydenberg delivered the economic statement, the day he was supposed to hand down the federal budget.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has a coughing fit as he makes a ministerial statement to the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Tuesday, May 12, 2020. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has tested negative to coronavirus following his coughing fit. Source: AAP

‘Should have stayed at home’

Melbourne radio presenter Neil Mitchell criticised Mr Frydenberg for being in parliament if he knew he had a cough.

“There's no way he did the right thing going in front of everyone, going and making that speech when he knew he was sick,” he said on Channel Nine’s Today show.

“He must have known there was a bit of something going on in his throat. It was quite a chesty cough for a while.

“Josh should have stayed home.”

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Mitchell also pointed out Mr Frydenberg had not followed the government’s advice, instructing people to cough into their arm.

“Josh will be watching and getting angry but he did the wrong thing... it’s a lesson.”

Yet Queensland Senator Matt Canavan defended his “good mate”, saying Mr Frydenberg “did the right thing” by going to get tested immediately and isolating himself.

He also argued you don’t have to be sick to have a coughing fit.

On Tuesday, Mr Frydenberg canvassed Treasury forecasts of a $50 billion hit to the economy in the June quarter.

Treasury also expects the staged lifting of restrictions will cost $9.4 billion a month after July, while household consumption could drop 16 per cent and business and dwelling investment 18 per cent apiece from pre-crisis levels.

It also anticipates unemployment rising to 10 per cent.

With AAP

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