Anthony Albanese: Scott Morrison is slammed over his sunscreen and mask wearing comparison

The Prime Minister’s comments comparing mask wearing to sunscreen have been labelled ‘absurd’ by his opponents.

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has criticised the Prime Minister for his “absurd” comments comparing Covid-19 to the sun.

Ahead of Wednesday’s emergency national cabinet meeting to discuss the mounting threat of Omicron, Scott Morrison was quizzed about whether the health advice suggested reintroducing a mask mandate, particularly in NSW where case numbers are ballooning.

Mr Morrison said Australians didn’t need to be told what to do, likening mask-wearing to sun safety.

“In the same way as we go into the summer season, people will be slapping on the hat and slapping on the sunscreen,” he said.

“There’s no rule or requirement to do that, but it is strongly recommended health advice. It’s in the same category.”

Mr Albanese said it was out of line to make such a comparison.

“This sunscreen analogy … is a rather absurd one, because if I don’t choose to wear sunscreen it doesn’t mean you get sunburnt (just me), whereas with protections against Covid – what we do is protect ourselves but we are also protecting people we come into contact with,” he told the Today Show.

“It is quite extraordinary the fact that we had an emergency national cabinet called yesterday, but all the decisions (were) kicked down the road.”

On Wednesday, NSW, Queensland, the ACT and South Australia all recorded their largest ever daily case numbers.

Pressure is mounting on testing centres across the country as close contacts and symptomatic Australians rush to get tested before Christmas, but also clogging up the sites are people wanting to travel interstate.

Those wishing to travel to Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory require a negative PCR test within 72 hours of their arrival, which is in-part causing massive queues and delays in receiving results.

Mr Morrison said on Wednesday health experts could advise states and territories to do away with the testing requirement for interstate arrivals.

Mr Albanese said Mr Morrison should take responsibility for the problem, rather than shift the blame on states.

“This is a classic example of Scott Morrison trying to blame someone else and defer and issue to say, ‘look over there’,” he said.

“I had a few days off (in Queensland), and guess what? People are getting on with their lives. They are checking in with QR codes, they are wearing masks … they are getting on with life.

“One of the ways that they have done that is because Annastacia Palaszczuk has protected Queenslanders. She deserves praise.”

Mr Albanese rebuked claims the long testing queues were being caused by those travel requirements, instead blaming Mr Morrison.

“Overwhelmingly, people are waiting in queues because the governments haven’t prepared. The federal government shut down a w hole lot of the testing areas,” he said.

“The government … have known that this period was coming for months now, and the preparation simply hasn’t been put in place.

“We need to make sure that there are more testing sites available, and more vaccination sites available as well.”

Read related topics:Anthony AlbaneseScott Morrison

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Cunane powers No. 2 NC State women past Saint Mary’s 101-73

North Carolina State center Elissa Cunane (33) reacts following a basket against Saint Mary's during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

North Carolina State center Elissa Cunane (33) reacts following a basket against Saint Mary’s during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Raleigh, N.C., Sunday, Dec. 12, 2021. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)


N.C. State coach Wes Moore keeps thinking about last March, when starter Kayla Jones’ knee injury kept her out of the Wolfpack’s Sweet 16 defeat. It’s impacted the way he substitutes, and he’s trying to get his reserves more playing time this season.

“In the NCAA Tournament, I thought it was a real blow to us,” Moore said. “So, this year, even though we’ve played a really, really good schedule, we’ve had opportunities to play some of the young players. Hopefully it’s going to pay off down the stretch.”

Second-ranked 2 N.C. State got 52 points from its bench Sunday and won its 10th straight game, beating Saint Mary’s 101-73.

Elissa Cunane led the Wolfpack (10-1) with 15 points and nine rebounds. The senior center, who scored her 1,500th career point, had nine points during an early 18-0 run that put the Wolfpack in control.

“It’s pretty cool,” Cunane said of the milestone. “I just give it all to my teammates, because they’re the ones that have to give me the ball. I appreciate them doing what they do for me.”

Jones added 13 points, while Jakia Brown-Turner had 11 points and six rebounds for N.C. State. Off the bench, freshman Aziaha James tallied 11 points, five rebounds and two steals.

Jade Kirisome led the Gaels (5-4) with 17 points. Ali Bamberger had 13 points and nine rebounds.

Saint Mary’s tied it at 7 on a 3-pointer from Makena Mastora in the first quarter. The Wolfpack then broke away with their big run.

N.C. State grew its lead to as much as 30 points, and Saint Mary’s was unable to trim the deficit to single digits over the final three quarters.


Saint Mary’s: The Gaels outscored N.C. State 22-21 in the third quarter, but the early deficit they dug themselves into proved too deep. Saint Mary’s shot just 53.8% on free throws and turned the ball over 16 times.

“You can’t give the ball to the No. 2 team in the nation that shoots the ball that effectively. They’re just so efficient on offense,” Gaels coach Paul Thomas said. “We just did not get enough stops to counter that. We just couldn’t find a rhythm defensively. … Our kids know we did not play the way we are capable of playing.”

N.C. State: In these blowout victories over mid-majors, Moore has been able to get valuable minutes for his non-starters. Six players off the bench played double-digit minutes for the Wolfpack, including freshman guard Jessica Timmons, who scored a season-high nine points. The experience that N.C. State’s reserves are getting now could be valuable in the postseason.

“Hopefully, that’s getting them prepared for ACC play as well,” Moore said. “It’s tough because of the extra-year super seniors – it affected Aziaha’s and Jessica Timmons’ roles as freshmen. But they’ve handled it well. They’re going to make an impact and a difference right now, but they’re also the future.”


With No. 3 UConn losing to Georgia Tech, and No. 4 Stanford not posting any impressive wins this past week, N.C. State should hold on to its No. 2 spot, just behind unbeaten South Carolina.


Saint Mary’s: The Gaels travel to Conway, South Carolina, to face undefeated Coastal Carolina on Wednesday.

N.C. State: The Wolfpack host their fourth ranked opponent this season, playing No. 21 Georgia on Thursday.


The win was Moore’s 200th as N.C. State’s head coach. … It was the sixth time this season that N.C. State has scored more than 80 points. The Wolfpack are second nationally in field goals made this season.


More AP women’s college basketball: and


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