Tony Blakely Advocate for COVID Elimination
The professorial fellow at Melbourne University’s School of Population and Global Health, New Zealander Tony Blakely has become one of the go-to epidemiologists for the Australian media trying to explain the complex interactions between disease, health economics and civil liberties. Australian Financial Review correspondent Aaron Patrick reports on how Blakely may be behind an undeclared strategy to wipe out COVID-19 in Victoria.
While the Victorian government describes its approach as “aggressive suppression”, Professor Blakely is one of the state’s leading advocates for elimination, Patrick writes.
Two months ago Blakely, who remains on the research staff of the University of Otago, said he had concluded that other states’ success fighting the pandemic meant Victoria should wipe out the virus and see it eliminated from the continent. He cited New Zealand as a positive example.
“It just makes no sense for Victoria to just aim for suppression because it makes it very hard for Australia to go forward as a country,” he told ABC radio on 10 July. “You’ll have one state that becomes the pariah state.”
Original article by Aaron Patrick, The Australian Financial Review, September 8, 2020.