Bleats

Jacinda Ardern Is Taking A Pay Cut, But Don’t Expect Scotty From Marketing To

Actions speak louder than words.

Yesterday, New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she and other ministers would be taking a 20% pay cut over a six-month period to stand in solidarity with those impacted by the pandemic.

During a press conference, Ardern said ministers and public service CEOs would be taking the pay cut “as we acknowledge New Zealanders who are reliant on wage subsidies, taking pay cuts and losing their jobs as a result of COVID-19’s global pandemic.”

Ardern acknowledged that while the cuts “won’t shift the government’s fiscal position, it is about leadership.”

“If there were ever a time to close the gap between groups of people across New Zealand in different positions, it is now,” she added.

Across the Tasman Sea, it’s a different story. In a recent interview with Perth radio station 6PR, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison said there were no plans to cut the pay of himself, ministers or senior public servants.

“We’ve already said there won’t be any pay rises right across the public service and this is not something that’s currently before us,” he said. “It’s not something that’s being considered.”

While ScoMo noted that he has “people in the public service who are working like they’ve never worked before,” he didn’t mention anything about taking a cut to his personal salary or living expenses. 

The Daily Mail reports that as of July 2019, the base salary of federal MPs is over $200K per annum – that’s before travel allowance and other entitlements come into play. Scott Morrison reportedly earns almost $550K a year, and the deputy PM and treasurer each earn between $390-$433K. 

Speaking of Scotty from Marketing, hear about his recent COVID press conference blunder below:

An act of solidarity is what struggling Australians need right now. Clearly, Jacinda Ardern is paving the way with that in New Zealand, when will Scott Morrison step up in the same way?

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

What Happens When A Prime Minister Is Gravely Ill In Office?

Boris Johnson is in ICU after his COVID-19 symptoms have "worsened."

This morning it was reported that British Prime Minister Boris Johnson had been moved into intensive care after his COVID-19 symptoms “worsened.” 

A statement from Downing Street read, “Over the course of [Monday] afternoon, the condition of the prime minister has worsened and, on the advice of his medical team, he has been moved to the intensive care unit at the hospital.”

“The PM is receiving excellent care, and thanks all NHS staff for their hard work and dedication.”

While Johnson’s colleagues have reassured the media that the PM is doing fine and there is “incredibly strong team spirit” behind him, it begs one question: who is leading the nation while Boris Johnson is sick?

Last month, when Boris Johnson first tested positive for COVID-19, representatives said he would remain prime minister and continue his duties through teleconferencing, but now he’s in ICU – things have changed.

At the time, it was also reported that the Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab, as the first secretary of state, would stand in as Johnson’s ‘designated survivor.’ 

CBS News states that in the U.S., a ‘designated survivor’ is an individual in the presidential line of succession, chosen to “ensure continuity of government by taking over the presidency in that case.”

According to Business Insider, there would be no need, “under the UK’s unwritten constitution for an immediate election.” However, “political pressure from the opposition” would eventually lead to one. 

Speaking of Boris Johnson, hear about his savagery against Trump along with Princess Anne below:

It’s not the first time this has happened, either. In 1949, former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill suffered a stroke and managed to cover up being partially paralysed on one side without anybody – including the public – noticing.

Churchill finally retired in 1955 and was succeeded by Anthony Eden. He is considered to have had the longest ministerial career in modern British politics.

Considering the scale of the pandemic and the level of public exposure politicians face in 2020, it’s no surprise Boris Johnson’s condition is far more transparent than Churchill’s. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens if the British PM’s symptoms further worsen, but it sounds like there is already a plan in action.

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

Donald Trump's Misguided Coronavirus Medical Advice Has Now Killed Someone

An all new low.

It looks like we’ve hit a new low, because people are no longer dying from coronavirus, but they’re also dying from dodgy coronavirus cures – courtesy of the president of the United States, Donald Trump.

This week, it was reported that an Arizona man had died and his wife was left in a critical condition after they both took chloroquine phosphate, a drug Trump touted as a potential treatment for COVID-19.

Banner Health stated that chloroquine phosphate is “an additive commonly used at aquariums to clean fish tanks,” and that within just 30 minutes, the couple – both in their 60s – experienced immediate effects and were taken to hospital.

Hear about Scott Morrison’s latest gaffe below:

According to The Intercept, the couple found the drug amongst their pet supplies and mistakenly believed it was the same as the anti-malaria drug prescribed to humans. 

Speaking about chloroquine phosphate during a press conference a week prior, Trump said, “It’s been around for a long time, so we know if things don’t go as planned it’s not going to kill anybody.”

“It’s shown very, very encouraging early results, and we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”

What’s even more worrying is a report from Storyful, that shows the sales of a version of chloroquine phosphate skyrocketing in recent weeks. The social media news agency also found that jars of the drug have gone from costing $10 on eBay to over $500.

The female victim, who is currently in critical care, told NBC News reporter Vaughn Hillyard, “Trump kept saying it was basically pretty much a cure.”

When Hillyard asked her what her message would be to the American public, she said, “Don’t take anything. Don’t believe anything. Don’t believe anything that the President says and his people…call your doctor.”

You can also listen to Hilary Clinton’s sage advice: “Please do not take medical advice from a man who looked directly at a solar eclipse.”

Always be in the loop with our snackable podcast breaking the biggest story of the day. Subscribe to It’s Been A Big Day For… on your favourite podcast app.

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