Eden-Monaro opinion poll and other happenings

A poll by the Australia Institute finds next to nothing in it in Eden-Monaro. Also featured: still more coronavirus polling, and the status quo preserved in a Greens plebiscite on how the party leader should be chosen.

With regard to the American presidential horse race, Adrian Beaumont offers all the latest in the post below. Closer to hand:

Tom McIlroy of the Financial Review ($) reports Labor is credited with a statistically insignificant lead in poll of Eden-Monaro conducted by the Australia Institute. Based on response options that listed only party names, the poll reportedly had Labor leading 51.1-48.8 based on preference flows from 2019. No primary votes are provided in the report, but I expect to have that and other detail for you later today. A question on the most importat issue drew modest responses for both coronavirus (7.3%) and bushfire recovery (8.6%), with the agenda dominated by the economy (28.9%), climate change (23.4%) and health (14.0%). UPDATE: After exclusion of the 9.0% undecided, the primary votes are Labor 39.8%, Liberal 34.3%, Nationals 7.3%, Greens 6.7% and One Nation 6.5%. The polling was conducted by uComms.

• The Lowy Institute has a poll on the strategic implications of coronavirus, which records a general expectation that the crisis will tilt the international balance to China (37% more powerful, 36% just as powerful, 27% less powerful) at the expense of the United States (6% more powerful, 41% just as powerful, 53% less powerful) and Europe (5%, 46% and 48%). Respondents were asked if Australia and various other countries had handled the crisis well and poorly, and with the qualification that the uncommitted responses seem implausibly low, Australians consider their own country’s response (43% good, 50% fairly good, 6% fairly bad, 1% very bad) to have been well superior even to that of Singapore (23%, 56%, 15% and 3%), never mind China (6%, 25%, 25% and 44%), the United Kingdom (3%, 27%, 49% and 21%), Italy (2%, 13%, 44% and 40%) or, God forbid, the United States (2%, 8%, 27% and 63%). Respondents were slightly less favourable to the concept of globalisation than they were in a similar survey a year ago, with 70% rating it mostly good for Australia (down two) and 29% mostly bad (up five). The survey was conducted online and by telephone from April 14 to 27, from a sample of 3036.

• The results of a Greens internal referendum on giving the party membership a way in electing party leaders landed in the awkward zone between clear majority support and the two-thirds super-majority required for change. Members were presented with three head-to-head questions between each combination of two out of three options: the status quo of decision by the party room; the “one member, one vote” approach of having the matter determined entirely by the membership; and a Labor-style model where members provided half the vote and the party room the other half. The two questions inclusive of the status quo produced very similar results, with 62.0% favouring one-member one vote (3721 to 2281) and 62.6% favouring the Labor model (3510 to 2101). The Labor model recorded a narrow 3014 (50.95%) to 2902 (49.05%) win over one-member one-vote, but this would only have been operative if the favoured model recorded two-thirds support in head-to-head comparison with the status quo. According to Rob Harris of the Age/Herald, the response rate was 46% out of the party’s 13,143 eligible members.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

1,345 comments on “Eden-Monaro opinion poll and other happenings”

  1. C@tmomma
    Oh they have the thorns alright. I still remember with a 🙂 and a 🙁 the contortions and effort I went through picking enough for mum to make a batch of jam. There was of course the eternal problem of the ratio of eating to keeping 🙂

  2. Bushfire Bill @ #1088 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 1:03 pm

    PeeBee @ #975 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 9:42 am

    BB, interesting experience you had on Centrelink.

    What a shame you didn’t have P1 as your advisor. Your issues would have been resolved in quick time. Just like hers.

    Centrelink has gone a bit downhill since BB’s day. Still, well done him for being able to remember so far back at all

    I remind P1 that it’s not me who has the problem with Centrelink. It’s her. So why she is blaming me for her misfortune is puzzling.

    Of course, if I had insinuated dementia in a commenter older than myself, as P1 insinuated in that reply to Pee Bee above, she would have branded me as “ageist”, and most likely accused me of “egregiously mocking serious societal mental health issues” etc. etc.

    But she gives herself a free pass to use unfounded generalizations and slag-offs (that she would unhesitatingly condemn in others), because Truth Tellers like herself have a duty to call it as it is, without fear or favour. She is not the only one here to do that. It’s usually the big squealers and finger-pointers here who are the worst offenders.

    This kind of mindless, drive-by insult only confirms what has been apparent for a long time: lady, you have a serious attitude problem, and a too high opinion of yourself. While we all have those faults to a greater or lesser degree, your attitude is now doing you and your family a lot of financial harm, for which you are blaming all the wrong people.

    Blame yourself.

    P1 is someone who has come on this board to whinge about not getting Centrelink benefits, despite (as she tells us) doing “everything they told her to do”. This is, as anyone who’s ever dealt with Centrelink would know, merely providing them with copious ammunition to deny her claim.

    The Golden Rule of Centrelink is: “The more complicated your life is, the more your application is guaranteed to fail” – usually for a reason no-one will tell you.

    Centrelink also told her (verbally and anonymously) that she was sure to receive the benefits sought: again, as anyone who has dealt with Centrelink knows, not worth a tinker’s cuss.

    She quotes her local MP giving similar assurances of success: again, pointless. Water off a duck’s back as far as Centrelink is concerned.

    She even asserts (and this is part of the greater general insult, I think, implying dementia and ignorance of modern ways in myself) that it’s I who doesn’t understand how Centrelink works, at least as expertly as she does. And if I ever did understand, it’s a miracle I remembered any of it. Truly cutting P1 classic put-downs, all. I should be shattered.

    Except for one thing…

    How come I am successful in my dealings with Centrelink, and she has failed; and failed for reasons they won’t even tell her?

    Take two case studies:

    1. Simple
    A young boy I know up here, out of even casual work at the local supermarket, with two changes of clothes, an Xbox, a bomb car and no money gets $750 per week dole, just by phoning up Centrelink and telling them he’s been fired. This is $550 more per week from the dole than he was making by actually going to work.

    2. Complicated
    A family, man, woman, kids, having just received a bushfire-related insurance payout, also want the taxpayer to give them an additional bushfire-related payout. This is inexplicably rejected.

    Not to be discouraged, they apply for both Job Keeper, and Job Seeker benefits. Someone (who has not been introduced to the bored, but anonymous Centrelink assessor who’s handling their case, and 500 other cases simultaneously) told them that if they didn’t get the one, it was only because they were sure to get the other.

    Surprisingly (to them) they got neither. This is despite filling out form after form, spending hours on the phone to equally bored “Centrelink” call-centre operators,who, it turns out, don’t even work for Centrelink, not really, paying their accountant (!) to prepare a dozen or more documents (presumably including tax returns showing they are negatively gearing their expensive B&B holiday home down the South Coast, and God forbid if a “Pty. Ltd.” is mentioned anywhere in their pages).

    When they ask for reasons why their application was declined, they are not given one, but are assured they will “get a letter”.

    ********

    Now, if YOU were a bored, but overworked Centrelink assessor, tasked with untangling these two cases dumped onto your desk, which one would YOU find it easier to approve with a quick tick-and-flick?

    Centrelink, despite what P1’s MP told her, are not in the business of subsidising complicated business scenarios riven with what look like (doesn’t matter whether they are, or not) tax dodges and expenses reimbursement scenarios, slickly prepared by sharp accountants. Nor are they in the business of preserving any assets or lifestyles in any way related to these (again what appears to be, in Centrelink’s eyes – and these are the only eyes that matter in these cases) self-serving arrangements.

    Give them a genuinely broke 25 year-old who’s lost a job stacking shelves, any day of the week. And that goes double if everything he owns really did go up in the bushfires.

    FFS, BB! Get a life.

    Also, learn something about the JobSeeker and JobKeeper payments and how they are being applied in the case of employees affected by Covid-19. Employees who found themselves without work due to Coronavirus were encouraged to apply for both and then let the government work out which one they are eligible for. Which is exactly what we have done.

    So, let me see – we could take the advice of Federal Government, the Treasurer, Centrelink, the ATO, our local MP, and our accountant – all of which told us to do what we have done … or we could take the advice of an offensive bloviating windbag on PB who loves to pretend to know all about a subject they clearly have no clue about, because they once successfully got a payment out of Centrelink.

    Difficult choice.

    The really amusing part is that every time BB posts, he doesn’t seem to realize that he is actually agreeing with my original assertion that Centrelink is broken. He is too busy trying to score points by insunuating that our business must be dodgy or suspect. Sad.

  3. One cute feature of the US First Amendment, is that opinion is not considered defamation. So any old shit can be invented, and if it’s your opinion….

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

  4. I’m no masochist. 🙂

    I can just buy a jar of the stuff from the lady down the road who makes home made jams. I’m supporting a local business!

  5. The biggest tools ARE the Trumps. Though it sounds as though Don Jr has inherited a teeny weeny one, just like daddy’s. 😀

  6. I think Jobkeeper was through the tax department, and job seeker through center link. Can’t blame center link for both.

  7. 600,000 jobs lost in Australia. That is a lot.
    Unemployment rate goes from 5.3 to 6.2.

    2 things…
    1. Wouldnt a loss of 600,000 jobs show a much larger increase in unemployment rate (even allowing for a drop in participation)?
    2. Why are so many people losing their jobs? Isnt Job Keeper, the wonderful thing that “will keep Australian workers connected with their employer and provide hope and certainty”, working? Could it be a lot of employers dont give a rats about the connection with their workers?

  8. frednk @ #1108 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 2:19 pm

    I think Jobkeeper was through the tax department, and job seeker through center link. Can’t blame center link for both.

    On this issue, they have announced that they are sharing information to make sure people get the correct payment. If you apply for both, they will approve at most one.

  9. Jobkeeper was never intended to save all jobs.

    I didnt say it was. 600,000 is a huge amount of jobs lost in a very short period considering the jobkeeper incentive.

    I am not bagging the policy. I have shown general support for the idea in the past and I know many people and businesses that have kept their jobs and business alive because of it.
    I do wonder if a lot of executives have used the pandemic to make morally questionable business decisions.

  10. Nath, it’s many years of dealing with bloody-minded bureaucrats that counts.

    Their job is to give out government money, properly and honestly applied for. But if you ask such a public servant “Can I do {insert thing you want to do}?”, their natural inclination is to say “No” outright, or “Yes, but…” when you get one in a good mood.

    From, as a first-night cabbie, asking a copper (whose car is parked in a No Standing zone at a hamburger stand) whether you can park right behind him (in the same No Standing zone) and hearing him reply, “What does the sign say?”, to trying to convince a Centrelink auditor that the 14 documents and financial statements you’ve supplied them in support of your application disclose a life lived simply, and not a highly-structured method of possibly hiding or preserving assets, the strategy is the same: they win.

    And the sooner you accept that, the sooner you can get started on beating them at their own game.

    There are plenty more instances like that, involving state, federal and corporate bureaucrats.

    If getting what you want involves a small serving of humble pie, then you need to make a decision: how much do you really want what they have to give you?

    If not a lot, shrug your shoulders, tighten your belt, and go on your way, leaner and wiser for next time.

    If you’re desperate (remember: Centrelink is for those who have little pride left, so there’s nothing left to lose), you’ll do whatever is necessary.

    Either way, “They” (be it the copper or the Centrelink auditor) don’t care what you do.

    In other words, once you realise you’re a cog in their machine, and you use that machine to get what you want, the quicker you can put the little misunderstanding of your application behind you both.

    Pulling rank by quoting your MP’s opinion, or playing the call centre off against the desk assessor will only upset people you can’t afford to upset.

    I don’t know for sure what the obstacle is in P1’s case, but it’s probably something she hasn’t revealed here about her circumstances, rather than something she has.

  11. C@t

    In a competition, a couple of my heritage roses would beat your little blackberry thorns in a canter. 🙂
    Oh, and on blackberries’ ability to spread, they grow from roots as well as seeds, which is why the tiniest piece of root left in the ground may grow (a lesson impatient male gardeners fail to acknowledge!!).

  12. Your an argumentative fellow BB,

    First the health department, now Centrelink.

    Whom do you have cordial relations with ?

  13. Simon Katich

    I do wonder if a lot of executives have used the pandemic to make morally questionable business decisions.

    ?? They need an excuse ? All business as usual. The Plague represents a yuge opportunity for even more “morally questionable” from them.

  14. I remember people who knew where blackberries grew wild in the Cotter area west of Canberra. Very nice to eat except you had to watch out for the “blackberries have been sprayed” signs.

    My wife’s friend gave her a small blackberry bush a few months ago. It’s now in a large pot beside a climbing frame and under surveillance for any attempt to escape.

  15. The percentage is worked off the participation rate.

    I dont think it is that. There wasnt a huge drop in participation. It is partly the headline. 600,000 jobs lost but not 600,000 full time equivalent jobs. I still question the 1% rise is too small taking into account the 220,500 fewer full-time jobs, and 373,800 fewer part-time jobs and minor drop in participation…. but it is Sunday, I have a hangover and I cant be bothered doing the maths.

  16. Childhood – Menzies
    Young Adult – Fraser
    Middle Age – Howard
    Old Age – Morrison

    All four PM’s had a youth generation that was seen as being progressive minded yet each of these PM’s was more reactionary than the previous one.

  17. lizzie @ #1118 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 2:34 pm

    C@t

    In a competition, a couple of my heritage roses would beat your little blackberry thorns in a canter. 🙂
    Oh, and on blackberries’ ability to spread, they grow from roots as well as seeds, which is why the tiniest piece of root left in the ground may grow (a lesson impatient male gardeners fail to acknowledge!!).

    I have a full range of roses in my garden, only one of each because I’m an equal opportunity rose grower, from the tiniest ornamentals to the biggest climbers, and I can tell you that at least the roses have gaps between the thorns you can put a finger gingerly into in order to hold it while you cut a flower to bring inside to release its heavenly aroma, Blackberries have no such redeeming features! Their thorns are all along the stem and they don’t even compensate with a perfume when they are flowering!

  18. In a competition, a couple of my heritage roses would beat your little blackberry thorns in a canter.
    Oh, and on blackberries’ ability to spread, they grow from roots as well as seeds, which is why the tiniest piece of root left in the ground may grow (a lesson impatient male gardeners fail to acknowledge!!).

    This impatient male gardener will agree and disagree with you.
    My Lorraine Lee rose is far worse than blackberry. And I swear it moves to catch you as you go by.

    Blackberry wont regrow well from just a little bit of root. If you get the crown you have pretty much got it. Anything that does grow in the year or two later will be weak and easily removed in a second weed/spray through.

    If the ground is damp and will be quickly replanted with natives, I slash and pull/dig out the crown. If it is hard ground or wont be planted out for a while I trample and spray. Although I am starting to worry about weedkiller and using it less and less.

  19. Simon Katich

    I suspect that there are patches on my land where there is a spreading “tree” of blackberry roots in the heavy soil. Very sneaky.

  20. Childhood – Menzies
    Young Adult – Fraser
    Middle Age – Howard
    Old Age – Morrison

    It should be no surprise that a workers party isnt in power as much as a party that toadies to the highest bidders in a democracy based on the sanctity of an irrepressible media.

  21. The really amusing part is that every time BB posts, he doesn’t seem to realize that he is actually agreeing with my original assertion that Centrelink is broken. He is too busy trying to score points by insunuating that our business must be dodgy or suspect. Sad.

    Seems you know all there is to know about Centrelink, it’s philosophy and it’s operations, P1. From high government policy to the intricacies of the existential zeitgeist (as it relates to coronavirus).

    So how come I’m laughing, and you’re squealing?

    Next time you visit your local Centrelink office tell them you believe their entire organization is broken and that, in your opinion, they’re out to destroy you and your family. Take along a couple of ScoMo press releases, maybe some Guardian editorials too (if you think they’ll help). Show them to Alice at the Centrelink office. See how far any of it gets you.

    I say all this in the expectation that you have actually visited the local Centrelink office, and not just relied on your on-line application.

    The second rule of Centrelink is that if you’re not prepared to sit in the waiting room with the rest of the Great Unwashed, you’re not even in any real queue that they can send you to the back of.

    Not to embarrassed to show up in person, are you P1?

  22. sprocket_ @ #1106 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 12:15 pm

    One cute feature of the US First Amendment, is that opinion is not considered defamation. So any old shit can be invented, and if it’s your opinion….

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    An accusation of being paedophile is hardly an opinion.

    It can only be established by the production of evidence.

    So the question is, what evidence did he base his accusation on?

  23. I suspect that there are patches on my land where there is a spreading “tree” of blackberry roots in the heavy soil. Very sneaky.

    Ivy and holly certainly do this. Their root system is something to behold. I have an earthmover mate… he will be bringing in the big guns to help me with one patch that is too far gone.

  24. Simon Katich

    I have a small clay slope which was covered with ivy, and in one of Beth Chatto’s books I read that her gardener took many weeks to dig out a large ivy bank and “roll” it away, leaving no roots.

    While I was still fit enough, I tried this technique in order to create a new rockery slope, and it’s worked beautifully. Unfortunately I’ve had to stop halfway down the slope and no one I know has the patience to finish it!!

  25. Tim’s not getting a lot of love for his childish behaviour.

    Tim Smith MP @TimSmithMP

    What’s your preferred label for Daniel Andrews ? Poll closes 6pm Monday.

    Chairman Dan
    Dictator Dan

  26. So the question is, what evidence did he base his accusation on?

    There is no evidence. He’s trying to draw a conclusion that Biden’s somewhat leery behaviour around women points to sexual abuse of children. It’s the Trumps. You don’t need to have any evidence to insinuate someone is something, so long as it benefits Daddy Dearest.

  27. Bushfire Bill @ #1117 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 2:31 pm

    If you’re desperate (remember: Centrelink is for those who have little pride left, so there’s nothing left to lose), you’ll do whatever is necessary.

    Christ, I honestly hope no-one here is stupid enough to take your miserable and misguided advice.

    I don’t know for sure what the obstacle is in P1’s case, but it’s probably something she hasn’t revealed here about her circumstances, rather than something she has.

    Perhaps you would like me to send all my documentation to you, so that you can review Centrelink’s decision and tell us what we did wrong? Sure thing – just post your email address here and I will be happy to oblige. Oh, and just disregard all those transfers between our Swiss bank account and our Cayman’s Island account – I’m sure they had nothing to do with Centrelink’s decision.

  28. Barney in Tanjung Bunga @ #1131 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 2:53 pm

    sprocket_ @ #1106 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 12:15 pm

    One cute feature of the US First Amendment, is that opinion is not considered defamation. So any old shit can be invented, and if it’s your opinion….

    “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

    An accusation of being paedophile is hardly an opinion.

    It can only be established by the production of evidence.

    So the question is, what evidence did he base his accusation on?

    It’s a long bow but Biden was accused of being creepy etc when he commented to a couple of boys who brought their teenage sister to a rope line, wtte, you better keep the guys away from that pretty young girl. There was also one other incident that people point to. Ergo, the insinuation is that he has eyes for the young ones.

    I just don’t think it comes anywhere even near the ballpark of Donald Trump walking into a room full of naked and half-naked Miss Teen USA pageant contestants or expressing the desire to hit on his own daughter.

  29. lizzie @ #1135 Sunday, May 17th, 2020 – 3:02 pm

    Tim’s not getting a lot of love for his childish behaviour.

    Tim Smith MP @TimSmithMP

    What’s your preferred label for Daniel Andrews ? Poll closes 6pm Monday.

    Chairman Dan
    Dictator Dan

    Can you believe the Victorian Liberal Pre-selection panel chose him over Mary Wooldridge!?!

  30. C@tmommasays: Sunday, May 17, 2020 at 3:09 pm

    It’s a long bow but Biden was accused of being creepy etc when he commented to a couple of boys who brought their teenage sister to a rope line, wtte, you better keep the guys away from that pretty young girl. There was also one other incident that people point to. Ergo, the insinuation is that he has eyes for the young ones.

    I just don’t think it comes anywhere even near the ballpark of Donald Trump walking into a room full of naked and half-naked Miss Teen USA pageant contestants or expressing the desire to hit on his own daughter.

    *************************************************************

    There is plenty of provocative material – from BOTH sides – on Don Jrs twitter account

    but FAIR WARNING !!!!!! – its very unpleasant stuff – so don’t go there if easily offended by malicious claims all round

    pic.twitter.com/gNLo75bL0g

    https://twitter.com/DonaldJTrumpJr/status/1261772088211357698/video/1

  31. I guess the Trumpkins have got a leetle bit riled up over this from Joe Biden recently:

    Former Vice President Joe Biden vowed Thursday that, if elected to the White House in November, he would not use his new executive powers to pardon President Donald Trump of any potential crimes.

    The pledge from the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee came during a virtual town hall on MSNBC, when Biden was asked by a voter whether he would be willing to commit “to not pulling a President Ford” and pardoning Trump “under the pretense of healing the nation.”

    “Absolutely, yes. I commit,” Biden responded, adding: “It’s hands-off completely. Look, the attorney general of the United States is not the president’s lawyer. It’s the people’s lawyer.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/05/15/joe-biden-pledges-not-to-pardon-trump-260147

  32. Tom Nichols@RadioFreeTom
    ·
    3h
    We have a president tweeting videos of himself as the President in a science fiction movie. And his cult is such a bunch of sad, corroded people that they think they have to pretend to laugh rather than admit the terrible, ghastly mistake they made over three years ago.

    I still think Trump has been sucked in by someone taking the absolute mickey out of him and his cult fans.

  33. Lars wrote:

    Your an argumentative fellow BB,

    First the health department, now Centrelink.

    Whom do you have cordial relations with ?

    It’s not a matter of “cordial relations”, Lars.

    It’s a matter of beating them at their own game, in order to get what you want from them.

    In the case of NSW Health we got over $300,000, plus two years at home. The money paid for our home renovations and living expenses. The time allowed us to complete them. All the bureaucrats who were upset by us got sacked or were pushed out. Her Inoors exited the building in the upright position at a time of her own choosing, having been completely exonerated.

    I call that “a good result”.

    Centrelink was child’s play compared to that, once we lucked onto a lovely lady who told us both the final, minor problem and how to fix it. And then she fixed it for us, before we got back to the house from seeing her. The phone was ringing with the good news from her as we walked in the door.

    I call that “a good result”, too.

    My wife used to cry in frustration at the way Health stuffed her around. She raged, she stormed, she whinged… all privately. Whenever we fronted them, or wrote, we were as nice as pie and professional to a “t”. We replied to every letter and email. Never missed an appointment. But as soon as we left a meeting with them we had a mantra we’d whisper from the other side of the closed door: “Argo fuck yourself!” (got that from the movie Argo, actually). Childish? Of course! But it let off steam. Our attitude was that We were already dead, so we had nothing to lose.

    What we found was that they were mostly ignoramuses, who thought being a “Level 4 Health Manager” meant they were important people, but who merely needed guidance (which we supplied) in how to apply their own processes. Once her boss (who had started the whole unnecessary mess a year before) got sacked by The Octopus (our name for the Big Boss of the department) we knew we were on a winner. The second year was just marking time.

    On paper, however, we were as humble as pie. They got some minor satisfaction from scaring us a couple if times, but we held our nerve and won the Big Bucks, a clean record, and even qualified for Long Service leave while on suspension!

    The best thing is that they still probably sincerely believe that they won! That’s literally “win-Win” for all concerned.

    As for Centrelink we wound up one company that hadn’t traded for two years and had no assets, and shut a savings account with $20 in it. Not much of abprice to pay, once they told us what the problem was.

    It’s getting them to tell you that’s the difficult bit.

  34. China confirmed on Friday that it had commanded unauthorised laboratories to destroy samples of the coronavirus in the early stage of the outbreak.

    Liu Dengfeng, an official with the National Health Commission’s science and education department, said this was done at unauthorised labs to ”prevent the risk to laboratory biological safety and prevent secondary disasters caused by unidentified pathogens”.

    According to him, when the pneumonia-like illness was first reported in Wuhan, ”national-level professional institutes” were working to identify the pathogen that was causing it.

    ”Based on comprehensive research and expert opinion, we decided to temporarily manage the pathogen causing the pneumonia as Class II, highly pathogenic and imposed biosafety requirements on sample collection, transport and experimental activities, as well as destroying the samples,” he said.

    Those handling virus samples were ordered not to provide them to any institutions or labs without approval, as per a provincial health commission notice issued in February.

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