Today Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, distanced himself from Western governments around the world by declaring it “business as usual” in the face of the Coronavirus Covid-19.

In the worst spirit of appeasement shown by Britain’s Neville Chamberlain in 1938 before the outbreak of World War Two, Morrison accepted a Hitlerite demand to spread evil across Europe with the promise of peace. Except in this case, “Hitler” is a deadly virus with no cure, and “Europe” is the Australian respiratory system.

Morrison has not mandated compulsory quarantine for Australia’s non-essential emergency and industrial populations as have some of the biggest cities in the USA, the whole of the UK and the age-worn countries of Italy and Spain, even Greece.

Rather, Australians may now congregate in crowds of 500 outdoors, and indoors of 100. Yet, public transport, shopping precincts, pedestrian malls, schools and workplaces remain exempt. Obviously, contracting Covid-19 in those other viral breeding grounds is irrelevant so long as you can get a beer or play the pokies.

Morrison spoke this morning suppressing nerves, breathing heavily, eager to push the point again and again that these decisions were the joint product of his Cabinet, State premiers, and most of all his Chief Medical Officer, Brendan Murphy.

Professor Murphy over the weekend was the person who told Australia it was still okay to shake hands.

The policy that Morrison has adopted is called “Herd Immunity”—though that term was never used.

The reason why it remained unspoken, is that it is the very policy the UK Government rejected over the weekend in favour of some of the strictest lockdowns in the modern era outside the grip of Communism.

Herd Immunity posits that if enough people get sick from Covid-19, sufficient of them will get better—become immune—and encircle those who are not immune: therefore preventing further viral spread.

It is lunacy. First it means that a large part of the Australian population will need to become sick—by having their respiratory systems attacked. It then means that once immune, those survivors will not become carriers. It means that once over Covid-19, people can never contract it again.

We have no evidence to support any of these hypotheses.

Dr Anthony Fauci, Director of the US National Institute of Health’s NIAID and a key player in the Trump Covid-19 crisis team, just said on Fox News that Covid-19 is so contagious that even if it suddenly disappears, it will likely come back and eventually, “Everybody will get it”.

In reality, the Morrison herd policy derives from a national health infrastructure that cannot cope with the number of sick the virus is projected to produce.

Anyone who didn’t already foresee this from the ramping of ambulances at hospitals across the country before the onset of Covid-19 does not deserve to be commentating in the media or involved with the formulation of a response. (Ramping is the practice of leaving patients in Ambulances for critical care due to the lack of bed space in hospital Emergency Rooms.)

It’s not about the economy. Trump’s already in the process of creating $3 trillion to add to his already $23 trillion national debt.

That’s because the global economy is currently on hold—and Australia has no impact on it.

Telling people to go to work while supply chains dry up and overseas demand becomes stressed is more of a health risk than the financial one of simply paying people to stay at home, covering their mortgages, rent and insuring business debt.

The latter is the policy of the US; almost that of the UK. Even Jim Cramer, of CNBC fame, a couple of weeks ago said the answer is simple: Governments need to print money to bail out their economies right now. “Just print it!”

Australia to date, has committed $20 billion.

Covid-19 needs people to isolate. It is different to 2009’s Swine Flu: At present there is no cure. There is no Tamiflu equivalent at pharmacies as there was two months after Swine Flu spread.

In other words, the Australian economy is going to grind to a halt but will now do so in a potentially painful manner. It is going to whither as its citizens become sick one exponential batch at a time.

Morrison’s policy announced today is appeasement in its most startling form. It is expediency. It is stringing out a vulnerability, believing a bully will simply leave you alone because you look at your feet.

It is going to fuel panic—result in garbled messages whose responsibility has now been disseminated to the States. The Department of Foreign Affairs emergency line is right now jammed with people calling in confusion.

Worse of all, this policy shows no ambition, announces no marshalling of the country’s military to bolster medical capacity through field hospital complexes, transport and law and order. It does nothing to address consumer durable shortages and fair distribution through rationing. It does nothing proactive.

It does nothing to create a National Wartime Government—a war room from which everything devolves. If this is war, Australia is about to be carpet bombed.

And I voted for ScoMo.


Overnight Australian time, US hedge fund manager, Bill Ackman, said the following about Covid-19 on CNBC:

Until we find a vaccine we are going to enter a Depression Era around the country and millions of people are going to die. …

Hilton (Hotels) is the canary in the coal mine. This is an amazingly well-capitalised company. It’s gone from $120 to $50 (per share) and it’s going down to $0—along with every other hotel company in the world. …

If we allow this to continue the way it is, every hotel in the world is done. …

The only answer is to shut the world down for 30 days.

He therefore, wants every government to send everyone home (other than essential workers, I’d assume) into lockdown—right now—and pay their wages for 30 days: like China, South Korea and Singapore who have started to show success. If we do it “we will win”, said Ackman. Otherwise, “The world as we know it is gone”.

This mirrors CNBC’s Jim Cramer’s call for governments to start churning their printing presses to finance businesses and cover these costs.

Now the NYSE is closing its floor tomorrow due to positive Covid-19 tests. Ackman’s math put the potential Covid-19 infection rate at “50% of the world’s population”.

And the American Hotel and Lodging Association has just predicted 4 million US job loses in its industry alone.

Folks, 57 million Americans were infected with the less deadly Swine Flu between 2009-2010. NIC’s Anthony Fauci calls Covid-19 the most contagious virus we’ve known in recent memory.

This is not business as usual.

Governments need to put their Friedman and Keynes tomes down and look out the window. The Greatest Depression is now upon us.

PS It’s nice to see that Donald Trump invoked the US War Powers Resolution today. ScoMo, you’ve got to get ahead of the curve and follow.

© 2020 Adam Parker.