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Call for new mindset on COVID-19

  • Burnet Institute
  • 04 Jul 2022


Professor Brendan Crabb speaking on a radio show.

Professor Brendan Crabb 

With Australia’s death toll from COVID-19 having surpassed 10,000 from more than eight million reported cases, Burnet Institute Director and CEO Professor Brendan Crabb AC believes a change of attitude is urgently needed to protect the community from the latest Omicron sub-variants.

Professor Crabb told ABC Radio Melbourne Mornings program a ‘vaccine set-and-forget’ mindset and popular view that ‘COVID’s in the rear-view mirror’ has not served Australia well.

“This is an airborne disease, so we want the places we go in to have clean air – and if it doesn’t have clean air, you need to wear a mask, and you need to be helped in that,” Professor Crabb said.“Something we could try with all of these interventions … is the prime minister, the health minister, the premiers getting up and talking about the value of them, showing people how to use them, showing how people can get them.


Asked whether people could be relied on to wear masks in the absence of a mandate, Professor Crabb said: “You can’t mandate something if you haven’t won the community over first as to why you’re mandating it.”

“We mandate road safety … with licences and drink driving and seatbelts, and so on, and we all accept that because we’re sold on the reasons.

“But we’re not sold on the reasons to do what we can for COVID – and that’s why that’s the most important thing. That’s the attitude change I’ve spoken about.”

Click here to listen to the interview in full.