The Informer: Oh, the difference 24 hours can make - PM Scott Morrison apologises for vaccine rollout

What links Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Elton John and fictional TV character Fonzie?
What links Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Elton John and fictional TV character Fonzie?

It's hard to know who Prime Minister Scott Morrison was channelling Elton John or Fonzie - but no matter: he said sorry.

Elton sang about sorry being the hardest word while Fonzie, a fictional character from an American sitcom in the 70s, just couldn't get the word out at all. But, happy days, the PM managed it today.

Mr Morrison had repeatedly refused to say sorry for the bungled immunisation program. Today he said said some things were within the government's control, others weren't.

"I'm sorry that we haven't been able to achieve the marks that we had hoped for at the beginning of this year - of course I am," he said. "But what's more important is that we're totally focused on ensuring that we've been turning this around."

And now's about the time for turning, too.

Today the NSW premier prepared people for more bad news and increasing positive COVID-19 case numbers after her state recorded 124 new infections; Queensland closed its border to NSW; WA will do the same to South Australia after cases there grew; and Victoria recorded its highest daily total of new cases this year.

And if that wasn't enough a 44-year-old Tasmanian man died after receiving his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine as did a 48-year-old woman from Victoria.

The two new confirmed deaths take the total to five in Australia from more than 6.1 million AstraZeneca doses, while another was linked to immune thrombocytopenia.

All six deaths are linked to people having their first dose.

Former cabinet minister Darren Chester was the first federal government MP to issue an apology, hours before Mr Morrison.

"I'm sorry it's taken longer than people expected, and I'm sorry that some people have lost confidence in our government and our world-class health system as a result," he posted on Facebook.

Meanwhile let's see just how that empathy training has gone in the corridors of power and if the PM responds to the idea of one aged care provider.

Mike Baird, now the boss of HammondCare who was previously the NSW Premier, has asked the PM and state premiers to consider a "day of appreciation" for the the personal price so many people in frontline care are paying to keep vulnerable people safe.

Mr Baird suggested midday on July 30 - the International Day of Friendship - for the nation could stop to applaud for one minute depending on the socially distanced restrictions that apply.

What are the odds of that appearing on any political spin doctor's radar any time soon?

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This story Oh, the difference 24 hours can make first appeared on The Canberra Times.