Guy Sebastian has criticised NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in a series of scathing tweets.
The Battle Scars singer, 39, accused Hazzard of treating the public ‘like idiots’ and refusing to take responsibility for his role in the Delta variant outbreak.
‘Why are politicians like Brad Hazzard talking to the people he serves like they are idiots?’ he tweeted on Wednesday.
Speaking out: Guy Sebastian (pictured in November 2020) has criticised NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard for his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic in a series of scathing tweets
‘To be incapable of admitting that you played a part in this mess of an outbreak is one thing, but to continue to bark at us as the self-appointed smartest person in the room is abhorrent,’ he added.
In another tweet, Sebastian said: ‘I actually couldn’t believe what I was watching. No need for so much ego and defensivenesss.’
Hazzard had awkwardly defended NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on Tuesday as they were grilled by a parliamentary inquiry on their response to the state’s Covid outbreak.
The Health Minister grew irritated as he and Dr Chant were quizzed about why it took health officials so long to lock down Sydney after the outbreak began on June 16.
However, instead of letting his colleague defend herself, he butted in on questions with his own answers before Dr Chant could get a word in.
At one point he defended Dr Chant’s work ethic when Greens MP David Shoebridge pushed her to be more specific about vaccination rates in NSW.
Outspoken: The Battle Scars singer, 39, accused Hazzard of treating the public ‘like idiots’ and refusing to take responsibility for his role in the Delta variant outbreak
Furious: In another tweet, Sebastian said: ‘I actually couldn’t believe what I was watching. No need for so much ego and defensivenesss’
‘Can I just say, David, Dr Chant is very tired. She’s working 18 hours a day. I think you need to give her more licence to answer the question fairly,’ he said.
Mr Shoebridge moments earlier asked Dr Chant to be clearer about the freedoms she believed Sydneysiders would be afforded once vaccination rates reach 50 per cent.
The intense inquiry revealed a chain of transmission that NSW Health missed, leading it to think the Delta outbreak wasn’t as bad as it was and no lockdown was needed.
Dr Chant said the outbreak was effectively shut down in the city’s east where it began, but a birthday party in western Sydney became a super-spreader event infecting dozens.
Health authorities did not realise they didn’t get all the attendees’ contacts fast enough before they infected others, and how quickly Covid was then spreading through southwest Sydney
Frustrated: Hazzard awkwardly defended NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant on Tuesday as they were grilled by a parliamentary inquiry on their response to the state’s Covid outbreak
‘Looking back, there was a chain of transmission that was not detected and that was also playing into the mind that we needed to lock down,’ Dr Chant said.
‘So all I can say is that we were looking closely at the information available working with our public health networks, and provided advice to government on a range of strategies.’
Mr Hazzard seemed to be on the defensive from the outset, saying it was ‘ridiculous’ that he and Dr Chant were being dragged away from their work to answer questions about how outbreaks and lockdowns were being handled.
He became further annoyed when asked by NSW Labor MP Penny Sharpe how long it took the state to make a decision on a city-wide lockdown.
‘It’s not that easy Ms Sharpe,’ the minister replied.
‘I know you haven’t been the health minister but when you’re in the middle of a Covid crisis, I spend pretty well every day here in the health building,’ he said.
He then continued on detailing the work he and Dr Chant have done and their process for assessing what restrictions were needed.
‘A question was put to Dr Chant I think we should get an answer from her,’ Mr Shoebridge interrupted.
‘Can I remind you we’ve volunteered to come here, we don’t acknowledge you have the capacity to have us here,’ Mr Hazzard then fired back.
Mr Shoebridge pushed on asking if he will allow Dr Chant to answer the question asked of her – prompting an even more incensed response.
‘No I will answer the question its not up to you to determine who answers the questions, I’m the health minister and I will answer it,’ he said.
The back and forth continued on with NSW Labor MP Courtney Houssos attempting to get a question through to Dr Chant.
‘I’m sorry but either I get to finish answers or I’m not going to bother, Seriously I’ve got to answer the question.’ Mr Hazzard said.
Mr Hazzard also bristled when it was suggested he was bringing advice from Dr Chant to cabinet and there was push back from MPs about following the recommendations.
In charge: The NSW Health Minister has been one of the public faces of the pandemic in NSW