NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, admitted that she didn’t self-isolate while waiting for her COVID test results last week – um ah.
Despite months of urging NSW residents to “do the right thing”, it turns out NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian broke her own rules about self-isolation after getting a COVID-19 test in her parliamentary office on State Budget day last Tuesday.
Berejiklian has admitted that she continued to see colleagues and that her door “remained open” before a rapid negative test was returned two hours later.
“At no stage did the Premier have COVID-19 symptoms, and therefore did not require a test,” Ms Berejiklian’s office said in a statement to Nine News.
“However, as the Premier began losing her voice, she took a precautionary test as she anticipated that she would be asked if she had had a COVID test.”
Two anonymous, “well-placed government sources,” told The Australian that Gladys Berejiklian continued to attend meetings while she was waiting for her test results on Tuesday, November 17.
“She definitely had the test during the day and continued to be in parliament against the advice of her own Chief Medical Officer,” one of the sources said, referring to Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant.
NSW Health guidelines require anyone who has had a COVID-19 test to self-isolate until they have been given a confirmed negative result, regardless of symptoms.
However, a spokesperson for Gladys Berejiklian confirmed that given the premier’s role, the test was administered late in the day and in the confines of her office.
— Justin Stevens (@_JustinStevens_) November 23, 2020
Speaking to Today, Gladys Berejikilian confirmed that she had no other symptoms at the time, and believed she was already “overly cautious” in taking a test in the first place.
“My voice was starting to go, I had no sore throat, no scratchy throat, no other symptoms but I thought, in an abundance of caution, I should take the test, I was told the test would come in between 90 minutes and two hours and I didn’t change my schedule,” Ms Berejiklian told Today.
“In hindsight, I should have closed my door and not had anything to do with anybody, but I didn’t because it all happened so fast and it was Budget day,” she described. “I thought I was doing the right thing because I was overly cautious.
Members of Berejiklian’s party stepped in to defend her actions, including NSW Jobs Minister, Stuart Ayres, who said on Monday night’s Q+A program that the premier had “done the right thing” – despite breaching NSW health guidelines.
“I think the key point here is that she’s gone and taken a precautionary test, but she’s not exhibiting any symptoms,” he said. “I don’t think she’s put anyone at risk here.”
Needless to say, Q+A host Hamish Macdonald shut him up quickly.
— QandA (@QandA) November 23, 2020
Furthermore, some have taken to Twitter to vent frustrations over the actions of Gladys Berejiklian, with some claiming that the severity of the situation is being covered up.
If @GladysB didn’t self-isolate after her COVID test it goes against the advice she has been giving the NSW public over the course of the pandemic. Her office is yet to be clear what she did and where she went after she had her test.https://t.co/JMxnOsvMwP
— Michael Rowland (@mjrowland68) November 23, 2020
Politicians, including the Premier, should be held to account during a pandemic. As Dr Norman Swan explains: “Trust is a core element here and you risk as a leader breaching that trust, and people have to rely on leaders to get them through this.” https://t.co/sQRF4qr6eH
— Jodi McKay (@JodiMcKayMP) November 23, 2020
This latest scandal comes amid concerns of corruption from the premier after she was front-and-centre of an ICAC investigation into her “close personal relationship” with former MP for Wagga Wagga, Daryl Maguire.
Maguire admitted to taking several commissions from property developers, as well as failing to disclose his business interests in his pecuniary interest register as required by an MP.
Now, it’s left people wondering why Gladys Berejiklian seems to be getting protected at every twist and turn, and scandal.
Gladys Berejiklian is the most protected person in Australia. Can someone explain why? #QandA
— Louise (@Louise_pem) November 23, 2020