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The new Cold War over the origins of Covid-19
The Wuhan lab leak theory has recently been given new prominence thanks to a controversial book written by Australian journalist and Sky News commentator Sharri Markson. Today, writer and contributor to The Saturday Paper Linda Jaivin, examines the credibility of Markson’s claims, and explores how ideology has impacted our ability to get to the truth of how this pandemic first started.
The management consultants that ate Canberra
Since coming to power the federal Coalition has chipped away at the public service, increasingly outsourcing key functions of government to private companies. The trend has raised important questions about transparency, and the long-term sustainability of government services. Today, Rick Morton on how private management consultants took over the public service.
‘I'll be on the frontline and I might die’
Eighteen months into the pandemic, Australia has more case numbers than ever, and our doctors, nurses and other health professionals are reporting alarmingly high rates of exhaustion, burnout and mental health issues. Today, Dr Natasha Smallwood on the stress that healthcare workers are facing and what that means for the health system after the pandemic.
The people most at risk when lockdown ends
Australia’s two largest states are getting ready to end their long lockdowns and reopen when 80 percent of eligible residents are fully vaccinated. But what does reopening with that target mean for the 20 percent who are yet to receive their vaccines? Today, Rick Morton on how some of our most at risk communities fell through the cracks.
What happens after we're vaccinated?
From this week residents in NSW, who have been locked down for nearly three months, will finally be able to leave their homes. But the new freedoms are contingent on one important factor: their vaccination status. Today, Hannah Ryan on the plan to provide freedoms only to fully vaccinated, and what that means for the next phase of the pandemic.
How bad is Australia’s mental health crisis?
Despite government promises to fix Australia’s mental health system, experts have identified that young people in particular are still struggling to access urgent care and support. Today, Santilla Chingaipe on why this could be our one chance to fix the ailing mental health care system.
Can our hospitals cope with Covid-19?
As hospitals in NSW and Victoria prepare to deal with an influx of Covid-19 patients, there are fresh concerns that our healthcare system might not be up to the challenge. Today, Rick Morton on the situation in hospitals right now, and what might happen when we come out of lockdown.
How Australia is holding back vaccine supply
As wealthy countries like Australia race to vaccinate their population, many other nations in our region are falling behind due to the high cost of vaccines: a cost set by big pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer. As a result, South East Asia is now the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic. Today, Lyndal Rowlands on the proposal that could speed up vaccinations around the world, and why Australia is holding it back.
“This is a wake-up call”: The pandemic hits regional Australia
When Covid-19 first hit towns and remote communities across western NSW, only eight percent of Indigenous people were fully vaccinated. Now, with the virus spreading fast, there are serious concerns for the community. Today, Bhiamie Williamson on the situation on the ground in western NSW.
The document predicting Covid-19 hospitalisations
As Covid-19 case numbers continue to reach record highs in NSW, so too do hospitalisations and intensive care admissions. Now, a leaked document from the National Cabinet has revealed that the state’s hospitals could soon reach a tipping point. Today, Rick Morton on exactly who is being hospitalised with Covid-19 and how close our hospitals are to capacity.
NSW abandons Covid Zero
Unlike the rest of the country, NSW appears to be abandoning its intention of eliminating the virus and reaching zero cases of community transmission. Today, Mike Seccombe on the NSW strategy to deal with the virus and what it might mean for the rest of the nation.
Does Australia have a pandemic ‘Freedom Day’?
Eighteen months into the pandemic the Prime Minister announced a plan for the way out.The plan itself is based on vaccination rates, and predicts we could be living almost as normal when we reach 80 percent of the population fully vaccinated. But how likely are we to reach that target, and when?
Scott Morrison’s in the race of his political life
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is now facing the consequences of a slow and messy vaccine rollout. To try and claw back public support the PM has tried to tap into the country’s Olympic spirit, describing our vaccine challenge as a “gold medal” race. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the intertwined fates of the vaccine rollout and the Prime Minister’s political fortunes.
Who are Australia’s anti-lockdown protestors?
Last weekend thousands of people marched across Australia to protest against lockdowns. The sheer size of the protests suggests that the anti-lockdown movement might be crossing over into the political mainstream. Today, Ariel Bogle on the different groups behind these marches, why they’re growing, and the Australian politicians trying to capitalise on lockdown discontent.
The Liberal factions pushing out Scott Morrison
Scott Morrison has regularly praised NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian for her government’s so-called ‘gold standard’ approach to contact tracing, and unwillingness to enter lockdown. But behind the surface there are growing tensions between key Liberal party figures in NSW and the federal government. Today, Mike Seccombe on how factionalism and mishandled pandemic are weakening Scott Morrison’s influence in his home state.
Front row seats to the world’s biggest experiment
After being postponed last year, the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games officially begin tonight in the middle of Japan’s third wave of Covid-19 and amidst a pandemic that is still raging across the world. But, with athletes pulling out and more and more participants testing positive for Covid-19, are the games worth it? Today, Kieran Pender on what it’s like to have front row seats to the biggest experiment in the world right now.
The debate over vaccinating children
Throughout this pandemic one group in particular have been at the forefront of key policy debates: young people. But as we’ve learnt more about the virus, a new fault-line has emerged: the question of how and when to vaccinate young people.
Australia has vaccines. Why aren’t people taking them?
The rapidly spreading Delta variant has forced nearly half of Australia’s population back into lockdown. The slow uptake of vaccinations has been pointed to as a key factor behind the latest outbreaks, and how fast they spread. But why is vaccine uptake so slow in Australia? Today, Rick Morton on how shifting medical advice, poor communication and careless journalism created a perfect storm for this latest wave of Covid-19.
I get locked down, and I'm locked down again... something, something, something whiskey drink
This week Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced a new COVID-19 financial support package for Sydneysiders currently in lockdown. But the announcement was met with frustration from other states, particularly Victoria, who had been asking for help during their own lockdowns. Today, Rachel Withers on why it took an outbreak in his own backyard for Scott Morrison to act.
A psychologist's guide to surviving lockdown
A few days ago psychologist Chris Cheers began sharing advice on social media about getting through lockdowns, as a way to support those in Sydney. His posts quickly went viral. Today, Chris Cheers on how those of us not in lockdown can support our friends and family who are, and why listening is one of the most helpful things we can do right now.
As the world opens, Australia seals itself off
For most of the past 18 months, Australia has been hailed as a world leader in terms of its handling of the pandemic. But now, some of our biggest cities have been plunged back into lockdowns, restrictions and border closures, while Europe and the United States reopen.
Today, Rick Morton on whether Australia wasted its good luck, and when we might finally reopen.
How a slip of the tongue changed the vaccine rollout
This week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced that the Astra-Zeneca vaccine, previously only available for people over 60, could now be accessed by anyone. The announcement led to significant pushback, particularly from the Queensland government, who are still advising younger Australians to avoid AstraZeneca. Today, Rachel Withers on what's behind the government decision making on vaccine eligibility.
10 million Australians back in lockdown
In the past few days over 10 million Australians have been plunged back into lockdowns, as fresh outbreaks of Covid-19 spread across major cities. The current crisis forced the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to announce a radical overhaul to the vaccine rollout. Today, Rick Morton on how Australia ended up on the verge of a national lockdown and whether the federal government’s new plan goes far enough.
The story behind the Wuhan lab-leak theory
As Australia grapples with new outbreaks of Covid-19, questions about the origins of the virus have been re-emerging. And at the G7 summit, world leaders formally discussed the controversial Wuhan lab-leak theory: the idea that the virus didn’t emerge naturally, but came out of a laboratory. Today, Linda Jaivin on what we know about the origins of Covid-19 and why conspiracies are flourishing.
The world’s first pandemic games
Tens of thousands of athletes and officials are about to descend on Tokyo as the city prepares to host the 32nd Olympic games. But with Covid-19 cases surging in Japan, health experts and the majority of the Japanese public are opposed to the event being held at all. Today, Kieran Pender on the vested interests behind this pandemic Olympics.
You had one job, Greg Hunt
A third spread of Covid-19 in Victorian aged-care homes was not just a possibility: it was almost a given. Even before a vaccine was available, the federal government ended the support payment intended to stop casual staff working across multiple sites.
Scott Morrison dodges responsibility
For the past week the federal government has been locked in a tussle with Victoria over who is responsible for financially supporting those suffering the economic consequences of another lockdown. Today, columnist for The Saturday Paper Paul Bongiorno on the fresh political challenges facing the federal government.
Why it keeps happening to Victoria
Victoria’s lockdown has been extended for another week, as health authorities race to contain Covid-19. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng on what went wrong this time and what it will take to control this outbreak.
The vaccine race Australia is losing
As Covid-19 case numbers in Victoria continue to rise, attention has turned to the slow pace of the vaccine rollout, and the question of whether or not more vaccinations could have stopped this outbreak. Today, Rick Morton on where the rollout went wrong and what the consequences have been.
Who's to blame for Victoria's lockdown?
Victoria has been plunged back into lockdown, the state’s fourth since the start of the pandemic. But this time there’s one big difference: vaccines that were supposed to help keep us safe and avoid outbreaks like this are now available, but in Australia take up has been slow. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how Victoria entered lockdown and who shoulders the blame.
Are Australians too complacent about Covid-19?
Australia’s rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine has been stymied by a combination of different factors including supply, distribution and vaccine hesitancy amongst the public. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng, on where Australia went wrong with its vaccine rollout and what the federal government needs to do to avoid a third wave.
Morrison doubles down on Fortress Australia
Travel restrictions have played a crucial role in keeping Australia relatively safe from the worst of the pandemic, but the federal government has been reluctant to announce their end date. Today, Paul Bongiorno on why Prime Minister Scott Morrison is so intent on keeping our borders closed.
Who foots the bill?
The federal government is about to drop its highly anticipated budget, laying out its priorities for the next 12 months. The stakes couldn’t be higher, as Australia reckons with the global economic fallout from the virus, and plots an uncertain future. Today, Paul Bongiorno on what the Treasurer is planning, and what it might tell us about who should pay for Australia’s pandemic recovery.
Australia abandons its own
Right now thousands of Australian citizens are trapped in India unable to get home because of an unprecedented ban on travel announced by the Australian government. Today, Gabriela D’Souza on the situation in India right now, and what the federal government’s new travel ban says about how we treat our own.
The scientist investigating Covid's impact on the brain
Scientists researching Covid-19 have discovered that the physical impacts of the virus on the body go far beyond what we might have originally thought. The results could have profound impacts for how we respond to and treat Covid-19. Today, Rick Morton on our growing knowledge of how the virus changes our bodies, and our brains.
The fight to overhaul Australia’s vaccine rollout
Federal and state governments are locked in a high stakes battle over the future of Australia’s vaccine rollout. On Monday Scott Morrison held an emergency meeting of the national cabinet to develop a new vaccine strategy. Today, Karen Middleton on where Australia’s rollout went wrong, and the plan state governments are pushing for.
Big government is back, but not in Australia
Both the United States and the UK have recently announced policies to increase their tax rates, and spend the revenue on new social policies, as part of their economic response to the pandemic. But Australia is bucking the trend. Today, Mike Seccombe on what Australia’s economic recovery plan is, and who stands to benefit.
A doctor explains the risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine
Australia no longer has an official vaccination target, and one reason for the delay is our reliance on the AstraZeneca vaccine, which has been associated with health risks. Today, Dr Melanie Cheng, on weighing up the risks of the AstraZeneca vaccine, and what it all means for Australia’s rollout.
The crisis we should have seen coming
There are growing fears that homelessness could soon rise in Australia. One of the most at risk groups in the country is older women, who face both age and gender discrimination. Today, Kristine Ziwica on the homelessness crisis Australia should have seen coming.
Scott Morrison’s vaccine shambles
The federal government promised that by the end of March four million Australians would be vaccinated against Covid-19 but as of this week we’ve barely hit a quarter of that target. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether Scott Morrison is doing enough to vaccinate the country.
How these billionaires doubled their wealth during a pandemic
For many Australians the pandemic has led to some kind of economic hardship, but while workers have suffered some of Australia’s billionaires doubled their wealth during one of the worst global recessions on record. Today, Mike Seccombe on how badly implemented government policy combined with pure luck to make the country’s richest even richer.
The catastrophe unfolding on our doorstep
Australia’s closest neighbour, Papua New Guinea, is on the verge of a Covid-19 crisis. Thousands of people in the country are now infected, pushing the local health system to the brink. Today, Jonathan Pearlman on the danger facing Papua New Guinea and whether it can be avoided.
Why is Australia’s vaccine rollout taking so long?
Australia’s Covid-19 vaccination rollout is already behind schedule, but while the headlines have focused on issues with supply and delivery, there are much deeper problems. Today, Mike Seccombe on the challenges to the federal government’s vaccination plan, and what’s at stake if we don’t get it right.
Living with a disability through the pandemic
For some people living with disabilities, the pandemic triggered feelings of being different and even dispensable. Micheline Lee on living through coronavirus, and what it revealed about Australia’s priorities.
Why won’t house prices go down?
Australian property prices have just hit a record high -– despite predictions the market would crash during the pandemic. So what will it take for prices to go down?
Tanya Plibersek: Labor after Covid-19
As Labor prepares for a possible early election, Tanya Plibersek says the party is ready to confront the government over shortcomings in its handling of the pandemic.
How Covid-19 keeps escaping hotel quarantine
Victoria has been plunged back into lockdown after a new strain of Covid-19 escaped from hotel quarantine into the community. In recent weeks leaks have occurred across the country, leading to lockdowns in Brisbane and Perth. Today, Rachel Withers on whether our key defence against the virus is working as well as it should.
The miseducation of Craig Kelly
Scott Morrison’s attempt to restart the political year was blown off course after one of his backbenchers was criticised for promoting misinformation about Covid-19. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the problems rogue Liberal MPs are making for the Prime Minister, and why it took him so long to rein them in.
The Australian Open has divided the country. But could it save sport?
While thousands of Australians are still stranded overseas, 1,200 tennis players, officials and support staff have flown into Melbourne to take part in the Australian Open. Today, Ben Rothenberg on the debate over the decision to go ahead with the tournament, and what it could mean for the future of global sports.
When are we getting the vaccine?
Last year Scott Morrison announced Australians would be first in line for the Covid-19 vaccine. But with 50 million people now vaccinated around the world, the rollout here is yet to begin. Today, Rick Morton on when Australians can expect to be vaccinated, and if it’s happening fast enough.
Highlight: ‘In my new home, I am loved.’
After five years on Manus Island, Imran Mohammad was resettled in Chicago. But the coronavirus shutdown has brought back memories of detention and isolation.
The year that was (plus, Buon Natale from Paul Bongiorno)
Scott Morrison started the year bruised by his response to the bushfire crisis. But the pandemic has seen a big bounce in his approval ratings. With an election predicted for next year, will it be enough to secure another term? Today, Paul Bongiorno on how federal politics played out in 2020, and what’s coming next.
Here come the vaccines
A huge, global effort to try and find a vaccine for coronavirus is showing growing signs of success. A number of possible candidates are moving into final stages of testing, and some are even hitting production lines. Today, Rick Morton on when Australians might see a coronavirus vaccine.
Yanis Varoufakis on making billionaires richer
The world is struggling to contain the fallout of the coronavirus, but has the pandemic exposed something more fundamentally broken about our economic system? Today, Yanis Varoufakis on where things went wrong, and how to envisage a fairer world.
How Australia will live with the virus
Australia has managed to effectively suppress Covid-19, but with more international arrivals experts predict that outbreaks will continue. Today, Amy Coopes on the measures that will keep Australia safe from here on.
Not by the Hehir of my political sin
Pressure has started to mount on the federal government following a string of scandals involving senior public officials. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the government’s attempts to use Covid-19 to deflect criticism.
Short back and emotional asides
After enduring one of the world’s longest lockdowns, Melbourne is slowly reopening and hairdressers are some of the first businesses allowed to welcome customers back. Today, Rick Morton on the return of hairdressers, and the intimate role they play in our lives.
The new path out of lockdown
After more than 100 days of strict lockdown, Victorians finally have a new path out of restrictions. It signals a more gradual easing than the government originally hoped. Today, Osman Faruqi on the story behind the slower path out of lockdown and where the risk now lies.
Mr. Morrison goes to Queensland
With the Queensland state election looming, the Prime Minister has hit the campaign trail. But just as he arrived it was revealed that the LNP Opposition leader had been referred to the election watchdog for alleged impropriety. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the growing political scandals around the country.
Australia’s medicine shortage
A reliance on imports has left Australia with dwindling supplies of some essential medicines and now experts are warning that manufacturing capabilities at home need to be boosted. Today, Margaret Simons on Australia’s pharmaceutical vulnerability.
The people the government left behind
Experts have accused the government of failing to properly fund the aged care sector in this year’s federal budget. Advocacy groups are also concerned about the lack of support for young people, women, the unemployed and migrants. Today, Rick Morton on the groups left behind by the Morrison government’s recovery plan.
Albanese draws the political battlelines
In his budget reply speech last night Opposition leader Anthony Albanese outlined his response to the economic crisis and criticised the federal government for spending in the wrong places. Today, Paul Bongiorno on how the political battlelines between the major parties are being drawn.
After the virus: Lidia Thorpe wants to change the system
Lidia Thorpe entered the Senate this week, becoming the first Aboriginal Senator representing Victoria. Today, she talks to Ruby Jones about rebuilding after the pandemic, and what we can learn from the communities that she represents.
Budget 2020: Getting on with the jobs
Josh Frydenberg’s second budget is a world away from the surplus he was predicting last year. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, debt is on track to hit $1 trillion and the Treasurer is talking up a jobs-led recovery.
“The most important budget since World War II”
As the Treasurer prepares the upcoming federal budget he’s facing pressure to spend big and keep the economy afloat. But can a government historically preoccupied with cutting spending invest more in economic stimulus? Today, Paul Bongiorno on the challenge facing Josh Frydenberg, and the country.
The journalists siding with the virus
Throughout the pandemic, there’s been a vocal group of journalists who are adamant the risk of Covid-19 is being overblown. But what drives this kind of thinking, and is it changing anyone’s mind? Today, Richard Cooke on the Covid contrarians, and what they tell us about the state of the Australian media landscape.
The new virus hotels
Victoria’s second wave has been attributed to an outbreak of Covid-19 amongst private contractors working in hotel quarantine, and now government documents reveal more contractors at quarantine hotels have tested positive for the virus. Today, Osman Faruqi on Melbourne’s ‘hot hotels’ and the risks they might still pose.
Kids' radio: live from lockdown
Staff and students at Brunswick North West Primary school have endured one of the longest school shutdowns in the world, and they’ve created their own community radio station to help through it. Today, Ruby Jones talks to the students and the teacher behind BNWPS radio.
The truth about hospital transmission
Confidential documents leaked to The Saturday Paper show that hospitals remain a key area of coronavirus transmission, while doctors and nurses in Melbourne complain that they’re still not getting access to proper protective equipment. Today, Osman Faruqi on how healthcare worker infections are contributing to the length of Victoria’s second wave.
The grey pyramid scheme (part two)
A Royal Commission has heard hundreds of aged care centres are facing financial collapse, as the crisis in the sector takes its toll. In the second half of this special two part series, Rick Morton investigates what happened to the aged care sector under the leadership of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison.
The grey pyramid scheme (part one)
For decades, we’ve been warned about a crisis in Australia’s aged care sector, and the coronavirus pandemic has exposed its failures. In the first half of a special two part series Rick Morton traces the problems in aged care to Howard-era reforms, demanded by private, for-profit providers.
The calm before the recession
Australia’s economy has taken its biggest hit since the Great Depression, but so far government stimulus measures have cushioned most people and businesses from the worst impacts. Those stimulus measures are about to dry up. Today, the upcoming danger zone for Australia’s economy, and how we can avoid it.
The politics of a coronavirus vaccine
A coronavirus vaccine is the best chance the world has of returning to some kind of normal, but the stalling of one of the most viable candidates last week was a reminder that nothing is guaranteed. Today, Karen Middleton on the Australian government’s plans and the likelihood of a vaccine in 2021.
Exclusive: Brett Sutton's leaked call
A leaked briefing from Victoria’s chief health officer has contradicted public statements on contact tracing, and highlighted flaws with the privatised response to coronavirus in the state. Today, Osman Faruqi details the extraordinary call, and what it means for Victoria’s roadmap out of the pandemic.
Scott Morrison’s shattered cabinet
Scott Morrison is waging a war on two fronts this week. He’s locked in a battle with state governments to reopen borders, and he’s increasingly blaming the Victorian government for the severity of the state’s second wave. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the growing political divide across the country.
How to collect coronavirus
Cultural institutions in Australia have begun to collect evidence of how coronavirus is changing the country in real time, as part of a movement to collect ‘social histories’. But how difficult is the task, especially when there’s no national vision for collecting culture in our country.
Here comes the recession
The Treasurer Josh Frydenberg started this week by launching an extraordinary attack on Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, and ended it by presiding over the biggest fall in economic activity in decades. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Australia’s economic predicament and who’s really to blame.
Profiting off the unemployment boom
As Australia grapples with an unemployment crisis corporate job agencies are benefiting from a boom in government payments. Some are being accused of pressuring those looking for work. Today, Rick Morton on who is profiting from Australia’s unemployment industry.
Snapback: Scott Morrison's pandemic optimism
For months the prime minister has been projecting a return to normality, but what kind of Australia is waiting for us on the other side of the pandemic? Today, Sean Kelly on the type of society Scott Morrison envisions, and what might lie ahead.
The minister for not caring
In a week where the minister for aged care was unable to answer questions about the crisis in his portfolio, and details emerged about a branch stacking scandal in his own party, the Prime Minister is finding himself under increasing pressure. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether we should be expecting more from our politicians.
The phone call that caused the aged-care crisis
The ongoing crisis in aged care has become one of the defining elements of Australia’s second wave. There are currently over 1500 active cases linked to aged care in Victoria, and hundreds have died. Today, Rick Morton on the new details that explain what went so wrong, and what the government could have done to save lives.
Why coronavirus could mean fewer nurses
As our hospitals face pressure from coronavirus outbreaks, we’re relying on nurses more than ever. But at the same time, the pandemic means many nursing students may not be able to graduate. Today, Santilla Chingaipe on the looming shortfall in our health workforce.
Spying in the age of coronavirus
The coronavirus is ushering in a new era of international relations, and intelligence agencies and spycraft are a key part of that change. Today, former intelligence officer Andrew Davies on the world of spies during and after the pandemic.
Look over there! A vaccine!
As a number of inquiries interrogate how prepared state and federal governments were for the coronavirus pandemic, the Prime Minister has evaded criticism by changing the topic to a potential coronavirus vaccine. Today, Paul Bongiorno on Scott Morrison’s attempt at distraction.
Inside the Ruby Princess: What went wrong
An inquiry examining the Ruby Princess saga has delivered its findings, six months after the ship docked. The cruise ship remains Australia’s largest coronavirus cluster. Today, Malcolm Knox, on who was responsible and what the inquiry found.
Inside the race for a coronavirus vaccine
The federal government has announced that Australia is in “advanced discussions” with a number of companies over acquiring a potential coronavirus vaccine. But how close are scientists to actually making one, and does it matter who gets there first? Today, Rick Morton on the global race for a vaccine.
Australia’s love of cops
This is a story about Australia’s psyche and the way our connection to policing makes us unique. During this pandemic, police have been handed unprecedented new powers, in stark contrast to the response elsewhere in the world. Today, Osman Faruqi on the nexus between police, politicians and the media.
Supercharging the generational wealth gap
The federal government’s decision to give workers access to their superannuation accounts risks dramatically increasing Australia’s generational wealth gap. Today, Mike Seccombe on how the government is reshaping the fundamental purpose of superannuation.
Anatomy of a state of disaster
Ten days ago, Melbourne entered the strictest shutdown the country has seen so far. Today, senior reporter for The Saturday Paper Rick Morton on the extraordinary powers a state of disaster bestows on the government, and how we got here.
Morrison’s coronavirus backdowns
While most of the focus has been on Victoria, behind the scenes the federal government has been sending mixed-messages on economic policy and state border closures. Today, Paul Bongiorno on whether Scott Morrison is accurately reading the mood of the electorate during this phase of the crisis.
What happens if you survive coronavirus
Today, we look at the people who call themselves coronavirus ‘long-haulers’ and the emerging research into their long lasting symptoms.
Reaganomics is back, baby
As Treasurer Josh Frydenburg praises Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan’s economic policies, a controversial recovery plan is gaining traction. In today’s episode, Mike Seccombe discusses whether Australia can spend its way out of the crisis.
The Covid crisis in aged care
Aged care has been one of the hardest hit sectors during this phase of the Covid pandemic, with residents and their carers making up a large proportion of those catching the virus. Today, Rick Morton on the crisis in our aged care facilities, and why we should have seen it coming.
How Morrison is using coronavirus to destroy his critics
What drives Scott Morrison? And what can we learn about his ideology from the way he’s governing during this moment? Today, Richard Cooke on how the Prime Minister is using the pandemic to fulfil his political objectives.
Pandemic politics: Morrison vs. Andrews
Throughout the Covid pandemic traditional political hostilities have been dialled back, and governments have tried to project a sense of national unity. But that’s starting to fray. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the growing political stoush over the crisis in Victoria’s aged care system.
Coronavirus and the rise of "zombie charities"
With volunteers staying at home due to Covid and donations drying up, there are serious concerns about the viability of Australia’s charity sector. Today, Mike Seccombe on the challenges charities are facing, and what we might lose if they collapse.
Who is Neville Power, the man leading Australia's coronavirus recovery?
The Prime Minister has revamped the National Covid Coordination Commission, the body he tasked with leading Australia’s pandemic recovery. But what do we really know about Neville Power, the man in charge? Today, Margaret Simons on Power’s background, and what the Commission is actually doing.
Penny Wong on what happens after coronavirus
Penny Wong warns that coronavirus could unravel the rules-based system on which the modern world is founded. The shadow foreign minister says we must guard against trends towards nationalism and xenophobia.
Face masks – the million dollar question
Ten key questions on the science of face masks, as experts hunt for consensus.
The broke and the brittle
As the government reveals the extent of the budget deficit, Scott Morrison has become increasingly short in answering questions.
Scott Morrison and the invisible woman
The decision to pull subsidies from childcare has caused alarm in the sector - especially because it is the only industry where this has happened.
The moment Australia almost beat coronavirus
In the middle of last month, Australia had its last chance to contain the coronavirus pandemic. One strain of the virus was all but defeated, but then a second broke out.
The Prime Minister for NSW
As the pandemic worsens in Victoria, Scott Morrison has been careful to distance himself from bad news.
Setting up for the second wave
With Victoria one week into its second shutdown, and NSW on high alert, there are new fears about what a second wave could mean for Australia’s coronavirus recovery.
Morrison to the virus: ‘Ich bin ein Melburnian’
As Victoria enters a second lockdown, Scott Morrison has offered an apolitical response to the Labor state.
Morrison’s rule by ‘Henry VIII’ clauses
During Covid-19, the government has been increasingly using ‘Henry VIII’ clauses to bypass the parliament and make laws that are never voted on.
Locked in the nine blocks
Five days ago, the Andrews government used police to lock down nine public housing towers. We spoke to one resident, Hulya, about what is happening inside.
When is a bushfire like a coronavirus?
Instead of making us forget the bushfires, evidence suggests coronavirus will make us more conscious of the need for change. The urgent response to the pandemic makes political arguments against climate action less credible.
Morrison’s economy (unplugged)
Scott Morrison is strongly against further economic stimulus. But as a $60 billion hole shows up in the JobKeeper program, questions are being asked about whether enough is being spent.
The crisis universities should have seen coming
Almost overnight, Australian universities lost billions of dollars in international student fees. Some are asking how they could have been so reckless in depending on this money in the first place.
‘In my new home, I am loved.’
After five years on Manus Island, Imran Mohammad was resettled in Chicago. But the coronavirus shutdown has brought back memories of detention and isolation.
Don’t mention the trade war
The Morrison government’s excitement about a coronavirus inquiry cannot cover over the trade war opening up with China.
Who is really planning Australia’s economic comeback?
The Prime Minister has appointed a panel of business leaders to develop a blueprint for the country’s economic recovery, but there are serious questions over how they were picked. Today, Mike Seccombe on the vested interests leading this panel and what they’re pushing for.
Back on the tinnies
Pubs, restaurants and other businesses across the country are reopening and the government is predicting an economic comeback. But will the recovery be fast as hoped? Today, what one territory’s reopening can tell us about the path ahead.
Back in black. Cough, cough.
As the federal government struggles to rebuild Australia’s battered economy, the threat of a trade war with China risks hampering our recovery. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the twin challenges of rebuilding the economy, and managing our relationship with our largest trading partner.
The ABC’s funding crisis
ABC staff are revealing the pressure they are under as the public broadcaster absorbs huge budget cuts. Today, Mike Seccombe on the role the ABC plays during a national crisis and the future of the national broadcaster.
Australia’s worst coronavirus cluster
The decision to allow passengers on the Ruby Princess to disembark led to Australia’s biggest coronavirus cluster, and it’s now being investigated by a number of inquiries. Today, Karen Middleton on what happened in the hours leading up to the ship’s docking.
Inside the Newmarch cluster
An aged care facility in NSW is the site of one of Australia’s biggest clusters of Covid-19. Now, with 16 dead, the centre’s owners have been threatened with sanctions and the loss of their licence. Today, Rick Morton on what went wrong at Newmarch House.
Jane Caro on reopening schools
The Prime Minister is arguing that school closures are leaving the most disadvantaged students behind, and he’s calling for schools to reopen. Today, Jane Caro on how the political debate over coronavirus is reframing the inequality in education funding.
Making sense of the Black Summer
Thousands of Australians had their homes and lives destroyed by last summer’s bushfires, and now Covid-19 is shattering their plans to rebuild. Today, Rick Morton on what happens when a pandemic follows a natural disaster.
The 160,000 jobs lost while the government waited
Serious questions are being asked about whether the timing of the government’s economic relief packages may have actually led to job losses. Today, Mike Seccombe on the flaws in our rescue package that could have cost 160,000 jobs.
The real reason supermarket shelves were empty
When the pandemic hit Australia stores across the country were stripped of food and other essential items. The situation revealed deep vulnerabilities in our food supply system. Today, Margaret Simons on why our supermarkets weren’t prepared for this crisis.
Evangelical Christianity in the age of coronavirus
The Prime Minister’s relationship to the founder of Hillsong has focused attention on the church. But what does evangelical Christianity look like in an age of climate change and coronavirus? Today, Lech Blaine on the appeal of Hillsong and how it influences the most powerful politician in the country.
The generation “done over” by coronavirus
Younger workers are bearing the brunt of the current economic downturn, just like they did during the GFC. Today, Mike Seccombe on how the pandemic is fuelling generational inequality.
How Indigenous communities got in front of the pandemic
Remote Aboriginal communities across Australia reacted swiftly and effectively to the Covid-19 outbreak, reflecting the disproportionate burden these communities carry when it comes to infectious disease. Today, Amy McQuire on the pandemic and self-determination.
Anthony Albanese’s pandemic response
Labor leader Anthony Albanese is juggling the need to appear constructive while holding the government to account. But what does the public actually want from their opposition during this crisis? Today, Karen Middleton on the Opposition’s tactics in a pandemic.
The inside story of Australia’s coronavirus supercluster
Tasmania’s Covid-19 supercluster has forced hospitals to close and lead to thousands of residents being quarantined. Today, we investigate how a severe shortage of protective equipment and the encouragement of dubious practices preceded the deadly outbreak.
The truth about coronavirus fines
Analysis of the fines for the Covid-19 public health orders reveals a disproportionate number have been issued in places where Indigenous Australians and those from migrant backgrounds live. Today, what the pandemic is revealing about racial bias in policing.
The coronavirus endgame
As the number of coronavirus infections in Australia stabilises, talk has turned to how and when this crisis might end. Today, Mike Seccombe weighs up the different exit-strategies and analyses the coronavirus end game.
“I can survive until the end of May, maximum.”
There are over 1 million migrant workers in Australia who aren’t eligible for any financial support from the government as they try to navigate their way through this crisis. Some face destitution and homelessness. Today, we speak to one migrant worker negotiating this new reality.
Virus economics: you and whose numbers
With the global economy facing its biggest downturn since the Great Depression, the Treasury and the IMF are at odds on the extent of the damage in Australia. Today, Paul Bongiorno on the competing economic forecasts for the country, and the way forward.
What governments are hiding behind coronavirus
While the country’s attention has been focused on the fight against coronavirus, Energy Minister Angus Taylor has forged ahead with a plan to prop up a coal-fired power generator. Today, Mike Seccombe on the push to undermine environmental protections during this crisis.
Taking back control of our super
Australian superannuation accounts are tumbling because of the coronavirus pandemic. Today, Richard Dennis on how our secretive $2 trillion super industry is spending our money and what needs to change.
The other holes in Australia’s quarantine
Confusion between different levels of government has exposed flaws in Australia’s strict quarantine measures, and they go beyond the case of the Ruby Princess. Today, Karen Middleton on the other holes in Australia’s quarantine.
How coronavirus could break the NBN
The NBN is facing it’s most crucial test yet, and there are serious questions over whether the network will handle the unprecedented demand. Today, Paddy Manning on our virtual lifeline, and how it’s holding up.
The women and children at risk in a lockdown (plus, the Pell verdict)
The coronavirus lockdown has led to an increase in domestic violence reports, but many victims aren’t able to access support services. Today, Rick Morton on how life has become even more dangerous for some women and children.
Policing a pandemic
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, police have been granted extensive new powers to crack down on public association, private gatherings and travel. Today, Mike Seccombe on how Australia is policing a pandemic.
Surviving the economic turmoil of coronavirus
What happens when everyone in a household loses work because of coronavirus? Today we look at the human cost of unemployment and what the government is doing to help people survive.
Bonus episode: Behind the scenes at The Saturday Paper and The Monthly
In a special bonus episode of 7am hear from the show’s editor, Osman Faruqi, editor of The Monthly, Nick Feik, and editor of The Saturday Paper, Maddison Connaughton about how they’re adapting to the shutdown, and what role journalism can play in a crisis.
A Nobel prize winner explains coronavirus
Professor Peter Doherty won the Nobel prize for his research on how our bodies fight off viruses. Today, we ask him what makes Covid-19 different from other infections, and what we should be doing now to prepare for the next pandemic.
Should we bail out the airlines?
Australia’s airlines have been hit hard by coronavirus, and they’re asking the government for billions of dollars in financial support. Today, Royce Kurmelovs, on whether it’s time the government nationalised the airline industry.