Victoria’s Health Minister has issued an extraordinary apology as an independent inquiry examines her state’s handling of hotel quarantine.
Jenny Mikakos marked Victoria’s first weekend under tough stage four lockdown with a lengthy Twitter address.
“Since that fateful day on 25 January, when we had our first-ever case, I’ve worked every day to keep everyone safe,” the Australian politician said.
“I have put every ounce of energy I’ve had into that effort.”
“If it wasn’t enough, then I’m deeply sorry.”
A thread: I’ve grown up inspired by Greece’s most enduring contribution to civilisation – democracy. A bust of the great Athenian statesman, Pericles, who built the Parthenon and governed during its golden age of educational and cultural achievement sits proudly in my office.
— Jenny Mikakos MP #StayHomeSaveLives (@JennyMikakos) August 8, 2020
She also recently took to twitter to compare covid-19 to Ancient Greece. “A thread: I’ve grown up inspired by Greece’s most enduring contribution to civilisation – democracy. A bust of the great Athenian statesman, Pericles, who built the Parthenon and governed during its golden age of educational and cultural achievement sits proudly in my office. Sadly, this great man succumbed to the plague of Athens in 430 BC, with his society increasingly failing to abide by the laws at that time as the plague spread. In 2020, it’s easy to forget that pandemics have shaped world history for millenia,” she tweeted.
“History like the plague in ancient Athens shows us that civil disorder puts a society facing a pandemic at greater risk. Our own democracy is not at any risk, but our health is. The strategy will only work if everyone follows the health advice. We all have a role to play in this,” the Australian politician continued.
In June 2020, a breakdown in quarantine procedures under Mikakos created a second wave of COVID-19 cases in Victoria, leading to the first total lockdown of residents in homes in Australia, panic buying, and military personnel called in.
The resurgence occurred despite a report from experts a month earlier warning of an opportunity to prevent a further outbreak; Mikakos claimed she was unsure whether her government had received a copy of the report and attempted to distance herself from the scandal.
Mikakos was criticised for an apparent failure to properly implement quarantine of overseas arrivals in hotels, and faced calls to resign. She also refused to answer questions in Parliament, and failed to meet Parliamentary deadlines to provide promised written responses to questions.