‘Priceless’: Premier fumbles on The Project



QUEENSLAND Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk appeared to fumble through part of a TV interview when questioned over COVID-19, saying mandatory testing would "not necessarily pick up" COVID-19 in people who were asymptomatic. And viewers were unforgiving.

In an interview on The Project on Monday, the Premier was asked by Waleed Aly and Carrie Bickmore about her stance on mandatory testing in nursing homes. It comes after a Rockhampton aged care nurse continued to work after they had been tested for the virus.

"I think it comes down to something even more basic than (mandatory testing) and that is clearly if you are sick you must stay home, if you have any symptoms you must stay home," she said.

"Mandatory testing is not necessarily going to pick up if you're asymptomatic, so you can have a test and you still may be positive but I think the issue here is a bit different," she said when asked if she endorsed the idea of mandatory testing in aged care homes.


The Project’s Waleed Aly interviewing Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday.
The Project’s Waleed Aly interviewing Annastacia Palaszczuk on Monday.


Aly pointed out that the test would in fact show the positive result and said relying on symptomatic cases to be confirmed and not testing for asymptomatic cases made occurrences similar to the Rockhampton incident more likely.

"I'm happy to look into that (mandatory testing at nursing homes) but I think the issue was not only did the worker turn up to work with symptoms, the worker got tested and still turned up to work having been tested for COVID," the Premier said.

Social media users noticed her confusing response, with Tim Robinson among them, saying whether it was a slip up or not, she should have been more informed.


"The Premier's lack of knowledge on the details (or even a policy stance) on testing and asymptomatic people in health occupations was staggering. Freudian slip or not … disturbing."

Helen Barry commented: "She was totally stumped by that question and fumbled her answer, she did not seem to understand what asymptomatic meant. That's a scary thought."

HeathWilD tweeted: "Wow @AnnastaciaMP not cool. Asymptomatic means presenting NO symptoms, testing is important to catch those without symptoms who can still spread COVID-19. Waleeds face was priceless though (sic)."


Waleed Aly's face said it all. Picture: The Project/Ten
Waleed Aly's face said it all. Picture: The Project/Ten


Others jumped to the Premier's defence saying the panel were rude and talked over her without letting her finish answering.

Ms Palaszczuk was also questioned on the show over the decision to keep borders closed, with Steve Price pointing out that the Queensland/NSW border was different to other states with closed borders due to the populated region of the Tweed and the heavy traffic across the border there.

He asked Ms Palaszczuk what she had to say to tour operators who may be impacted by the closure.

Ms Palaszczuk responded saying it was a health decision and based on advice by the Chief Health Officer.

"We want tourists to return but when it's safe to do so," she said.

Originally published as 'Priceless': Premier fumbles on The Project