South Australia’s Chief Health Officer Nicola Spurrier took Sky News journalist Chris Kenny to task on Wednesday, rejecting his claim that COVID-19 only poses a “very mild health threat” to the public.
Asking questions at South Australia’s COVID-19 press conference, Kenny pushed Spurrier on whether she thought achieving an 80 per cent vaccination threshold among adults was too high, before we start to see life return to how it was pre-pandemic.
“You seem to endorse the 80 per cent adult population threshold for reducing the Covid alarm that Gladys Berejiklian have yesterday,” Kenny said.
“Doesn’t that seem unreasonably high given that no country has got to that level, we may not ever get to that level and also because of the very mild health threat that the disease poses to anyone outside those vulnerable groups.”
Speaking plainly, Spurrier did not hesitate in calling out Kenny’s rhetoric around the threat that COVID-19 poses to the community.
“Look I really just find it quite surprising to be at a press conference and have somebody suggest that there are very minor consequences to COVID-19,” she said.
Kenny then tried to talk over Spurrier, as she continued in a professional manner: “We still have many, many people dying around the world.”
Spurrier also asserted that getting at least 80 per cent of adults vaccinated is critical.
“We know from looking at other countries that if you do not have a well vaccinated community, and by well vaccinated, it needs to be at least 80 per cent if not higher, particularly for these new variants,” she said.
When Kenny tried to talk over her again, Spurrier said: “Excuse me, I’m here to provide information to the South Australian public, not to have an argument with you over a minor point.”
“Thank you,” she said, before turning to the next journalist at the press conference.