Anthony Albanese talks on The Project about being Prime Minister and why mask mandates won’t return
Anthony Albanese explained on The Project how his life has changed since becoming prime minister and that his focus on mental health and moderating ‘controls over people’s behavior’ is why he won’t be bringing back the mask rules despite a winter wave of coronavirus.
The Prime Minister this week encouraged greater mask use following the surge in Covid cases, but stopped short of broader mandates, despite warning that the new wave of cases would be similar to Omicron’s summer wave earlier this year.
Based on current modeling, the third wave of Omicron is expected to peak in August and likely be complete in September.
While mask use in indoor settings has been encouraged as the number of cases rises, Mr Albanese said it is very unlikely to return as a general rule.
When prompted by the project’s hosts about the apparent contradiction between the mandates just months ago and their absence now, Mr Albanese said there were several reasons.
He highlighted the high levels of vaccination and booster shots taken by Australians and said measures such as mask mandates and social distancing needed to be reduced at some point to reduce the impact on mental health, particularly for young people.
“There are two things at play. One is mental health considerations…imposing controls on people’s behaviors has an impact on people’s health, that’s just the reality,” a- he declared.
“We are witnessing a growing problematic increase in incidents with serious consequences for the health of young people.”
Mr Albanese said the second factor was the widespread availability of vaccines and antiviral drugs.
“The big difference between now and 12 or 18 months ago is the level of vaccination, that makes a huge difference… and the other thing that comes into play is antivirals. ‘
Two months after taking up the country’s top job, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke on the project about how life has changed for him and the challenges facing the country
Host Peter Hellier asked if his views had changed since becoming Prime Minister and spoke of the time Mr Albanese was pictured walking out to pick up his morning paper from his Sydney home in a jersey Newtown Jets football boots, pajama pants and UGG boots in May.
“The pajama incident was not my flagship campaign,” Mr. Albanese said.
“But it was a moment where you realize things have changed because it was 6am and there are normally no photographers outside my house in Marrickville at that time. ”
“I didn’t even know it really happened until later.”
He also revealed that two months from taking office at the top of the country, he has yet to remember that he is Australia‘s elected leader.
“When I sign letters and ‘Prime Minister’ is up there or I watch TV and they say ‘Prime Minister said’; and usually i bitch about it but now i’m like ‘that sounds good, oh yeah that’s me,’ he said.
Mr Albanese also spoke about the soaring cost of living – saying he was wary of stimulus payments as the country was already running up a trillion dollar deficit.
Anthony Albanese stepped out very casual in his pajamas, Newtown Jets jersey and a pair of Ugg boots to pick up the daily grind at the end of the May election campaign (pictured)
Mr Albanese also questioned whether having to enforce rules such as mask mandates when vaccination levels were high was an efficient use of resources.
“We still have mask rules on public transport but a lot of people don’t wear them, do you go out there and arrest people or good people?”
“The truth is if you have warrants you have to enforce them,” he told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“The reason is that we are listening to the advice of the director of health and what the directors of health, who met last week, said they wanted to encourage mask-wearing where appropriate.”
Asked about the possibility of reinstating lockdowns or border closures as the country grapples with a rise in infections, Mr Albanese replied: ‘I hope not’.
“I think people are done with those kinds of economic restraints…when I met with the state premiers and chief ministers last week, nobody is advocating for those economic restraints to be brought back,” he said. he declared to 3AW.
It comes as Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said companies should consider work-from-home plans for employees to stem rising infections.
Mr Albanese said many companies had already adapted to work-from-home models in the wake of the pandemic, although this was not always the case for some sectors.
“For many companies it works for both the business and the employee to have more people working from home, of course we have to recognize that there is a consequence as well,” he said. he declares.
“It’s a matter of finding the right balance.”
Mr Albanese is seen with partner Jodie Haydon (above)
Australian Council of Trade Union Secretary Sally McManus has called on all employers to implement work-from-home measures for those who can, as well as provide N95 masks to all workers indoors.
Professor Kelly said strong community action was needed to halt the spread of the virus, but called the mandates “controversial”.
“That’s a pretty strong recommendation,” he told the ABC on Wednesday.
“I recommended that we need to increase mask usage…we left it there for others to look at the pros and cons of how to do it.”
Professor Kelly refused to be fired at the revelation of projected case numbers for late winter.
The latest vaccination figures revealed that nearly 100,000 people received a fourth dose of the COVID vaccine in the past day.