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Why Neil Mitchell doesn’t think deputy health chief should be sacked over tweet

Amid calls for Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Annaliese van Diemen, to be sacked over a controversial tweet, 3AW’s Neil Mitchell has urged the state government to do what’s best for public health during the coronavirus pandemic.

Premier Daniel Andrews has stopped short of backing the tweet posted by Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer, Annaliese van Diemen, which compared coronavirus to Captain Cook.

“I think the fact that people have died, so many people are out of work … that’s dominating my thinking, not tweets,” he said in a press conference today.

“My focus is not on the tweets of public servants.”

Neil Mitchell said Dr van Diemen should be reprimanded, but not sacked in the middle of a major health crisis.

“It was an unbelievably stupid thing to do,” the 3AW Mornings host said of the tweet.

“Historically it’s wrong, secondly it’s divisive, it’s disruptive, it’s diverting, as is really illustrated by the fact that she’s unlikely to appear today even though she’s in charge.

“But I don’t think, for several reasons, she should be sacked; the main one, we’re in the middle of a fight for our lives, a genuinely dangerous and frightening pandemic, we need all hands on deck.

“Daniel Andrews … he should reprimand her publicly … tell her to concentrate on her job.

“Reprimand her, get it done, let’s move on. If we don’t do that the wound festers.”

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Victorian health official slammed over coronavirus comparison