Health professionals, disabled workers and others denounce the Australian government’s ‘Forever COVID’ policy at an online meeting

The unanimous decision by Australia’s federal and state governments last week to end all mandatory isolation periods for those infected with COVID-19 and scrap pandemic leave payments drew furious criticism from workers and middle-class people across the country.

Victorian Prime Minister Dan Andrews (left), Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk. Some of Australia’s Labor Party leaders are attending the National Cabinet on 30 September 2022

Within hours, social media was awash with condemnations from Labor Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and the “national cabinet” whose actions are guaranteeing a massive wave of coronavirus deaths and infections.

Albanese’s Facebook page was peppered with hundreds of angry comments over the weekend, with many Labor voters vowing never to support the party again. Albanese’s social media directors were quick to remove the comments, posting a photo of the Prime Minister with a koala on Monday and cynically tweeting his concerns that these and other animals are endangered in many parts of Australia. This sparked even more angry reactions, noting that the national cabinet’s decision would eliminate thousands of lives.

Predictably, the National Cabinet directive was welcomed by the corporate media and big business, who have long called for the lifting of all COVID restrictions. A Australian Financial Report The editorial said the decision was “a welcome step” while the Australian stated that treating COVID “like the flu” makes “social and economic sense” and wrongly insisted it posed no risk of “health consequences”.

Labor and the National Cabinet, the Australian continued, “is rolling back the nanny-state approach [to COVID]’ which was a ‘heavy burden on taxpayers and the budget outcome’ – ie corporate profits.

However, there is a deep and unbridgeable chasm between those who are enforcing this murderous increase in corporate profits and the questions of life and death facing millions of ordinary people.

Some evidence of growing concerns among ordinary people was seen at an online meeting held at short notice on Sunday evening by Australians Against COVID, an ad hoc alliance of medical experts and representatives of the disabled, unemployed and long-COVID-affected, was held.

At the meeting, which was attended by nearly 300 people, Craig Wallace, the Advocacy for Inclusion policy leader, Dr. Andrew Miller, former President of the Australian Medical Association in Western Australia, Jordon Steele-John, Australian Green Party Senator, and Samantha Connor of People with Disability Australia.

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