A message from the Prime Minister to all Australians
(a suggested text)
My fellow Australians.
Tonight as I speak with you, we are at war.
This is not a metaphor I use lightly. As the leader you elected, I can only tell you that these are the most difficult words I will ever utter.
The enemy is not one we can see or understand well. We can’t tell you how long this war will last, or how many will die.
Given the right conditions, a viral pandemic is a ruthless and unforgiving enemy. A century ago, in some places the Spanish ‘Flu killed one third of the population.
But we can be pretty certain of the lessons of history, and the lessons we see in other countries right now.
So we know its potential, and we know that we do not know the full potential of Covid-19. Yet we must act to crush that potential, before it crushes us.
From watching other countries like Italy, and China, and the US, and the steady rise of the sick in this country, I have decided, in consultation with the Leader of the Opposition and the best scientific minds we have, and with the consent and cooperation of the National Cabinet, to immediately implement the most prudent and bold measures necessary to protect Australian lives.
We’re going to try to get ahead of the curve. We know that we must physically isolate human beings from the contagion, and we must test, test, and test until we have it under control.
With immediate effect, I have ordered.
As your leader, I will do my best to describe and illustrate the rationale behind these decisions, and to keep you fully informed at all times.
These special measures will be discarded as soon as we have controlled the pandemic, and we are certain that our hospitals can handle anybody who lives on these shores, and who sickens.
In the best scenario, and once Covid-19 has been controlled in this country, we in turn will devote our national resources to help nations far less protected by natural good fortune.
We know from the examples set by our Asian neighbours that not only can Covid-19 be controlled with appropriate measures, but that relative normality and the beginnings of a fully functioning economy can be quickly returned.
This is a whole of society effort. Men, women, and children must all sacrifice. We will emerge a stronger nation, buoyed by our collective strength, by the grief we will certainly face together, and by our common humanity.
Goodnight, and be well.
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