Cabinet should self-quarantine after Peter Dutton diagnosis, says Labor


There was a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday that Mr Dutton attended. Australia’s chief health officer Brendan Murphy said a short time ago that because Mr Dutton had no symptoms on Tuesday there was no need for anyone from that meeting to self-quarantine.

But Mr Bowen said there were different rules for the Cabinet compared to ordinary Australians. He said Aussies on the Diamond Princess cruise ship were required to self-isolate as a precaution.

“Scott Morrison must clarify and confirm today whether the advice has changed the rest of Australians,” Mr Bowen said.

Peter Dutton has tested positive for the coronavirus. Picture: Mandel Ngan / AFPSource:AFP

“If he doesn’t need to be tested or self isolated, if the cabinet doesn’t need to be tested or self isolated, then the way the rest of the Australian people should respond should be also amended to reflect that advice.

“We wish Peter Dutton the best, but this confusion and this apparent disconnect between what they are doing and what they are telling others is very concerning.”

He also hit out at Scott Morrison’s decision to head to the footy today.

“I was disappointed, in fact gobsmacked that the Prime Minister indicated he would still be attending the football after the advice from active medical officers,” he said.

“Yes, the advice only formally comes into effect on Monday, but leadership is about more than rules and regulations. It is about being the example you set.

“I understand Scott Morrison wanted to go to the football, I wanted to go to the football as well.

“But as soon as that advice was clear, I thought it was a gobsmacked and lack of judgment for Scott Morrison to continue to go to the football, sending a terrible signal and message to the Australian people.

Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen says the government is sending out mixed messages. Picture: AAP Image/Dean Lewins

Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen says the government is sending out mixed messages. Picture: AAP Image/Dean LewinsSource:AAP

“It is not appropriate that there are any different rules put in place for the Prime Minister and Cabinet than any other Australian.”

Yesterday afternoon Mr Dutton confirmed he had tested positive for the virus, after waking up with a sore throat and temperature.

“This morning I woke up with a temperature and sore throat,” he said in a statement.

“I immediately contacted the Queensland Department of Health and was subsequently tested for COVID-19.

“I was advised by Queensland Health this afternoon (Friday) that the test had returned positive.

“It is the policy of Queensland Health that anyone who tests positive is to be admitted into hospital and I have complied with their advice.”

Mr Dutton said he feels “fine” and will provide an update soon.

Mr Dutton was in the US to finalise a deal with the White House to give Australian law enforcement better access to data held by US companies.

On March 5, he attended a high-level security meeting focused on online child exploitation with US Attorney-General William Barr and Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf, as well as security officials from the UK, Canada and New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has copped criticism for his decision to head to the footy. Picture: AAP Image/Paul Braven

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has copped criticism for his decision to head to the footy. Picture: AAP Image/Paul BravenSource:AAP

They included New Zealand’s Minister of Internal Affairs, Tracey Martin, Canada’s Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, Bill Blair, and the UK’s Minister of State for Security, James Brokenshire.

US counsellor Kellyanne Conway was also pictured with the group, along with Joe Grogan, an assistant to the US President.

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Representatives from major tech companies were also said to be in attendance, as well as nine survivors of child sexual exploitation.

Ms Martin is now self-isolating and will be tested for the virus on Saturday, according to her spokesman. The results are expected on Sunday.

She told local media she did not recall shaking hands with Mr Dutton, but sat next to him for entire 90-minute meeting. He had not shown any symptoms at the time, she said.

It was not clear whether any other attendees would be self-isolating.



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