Election 2022: Albanese tests positive to COVID

By Tom Ravlic

April 22, 2022

Anthony Albanese
Anthony Albanese speaks to a resident during a visit to Symons House Retirement Village on Day 11 of the 2022 federal election campaign in Nowra on Thursday. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Opposition leader Anthony Albanese has been forced to switch his campaign to become Australia’s next leader to a virtual one, following a COVID test returning a positive result.

Albanese issued a statement late on Thursday confirming he had contracted coronavirus.

“Following a routine PCR test this afternoon ahead of interstate travel to Western Australia, I have returned a positive result for COVID this evening,” Albanese told Twitter followers. “I have been testing regularly as part of my election campaign duties.”

Albanese said he would be isolating at home for seven days and following health guidelines and advice.

“While at home I will continue my responsibilities as alternative prime minister and will be fighting for a better future for all Australians,” Albanese said.

Prime minister Scott Morrison took to Twitter to wish the opposition leader well.

“I wish Anthony Albanese all the best for his recovery after testing positive to COVID. Everyone’s experience with COVID is different and as Labor’s campaign continues, I hope he does not experience any serious symptoms,” Morrison said.

Labor frontbencher and campaign spokesperson Jason Clare said the amount of video or virtual electioneering the opposition leader may or may not be able to do over the next week will depend on how harsh the COVID symptoms grip him.

“Health comes first. I told him, rest up mate,” Clare said.

Albanese’s coronavirus comes after he has spent several days on the road campaigning in both New South Wales and Queensland.

He took in the sights and sounds in a much-publicised visit to Bluesfest at Byron Bay, as well as visiting a range of workplaces and facilities in marginal electorates.

He was also at the People’s Forum with Morrison on Wednesday night, during which he and the prime minister answered questions from undecided voters on economic issues, the National Disability Insurance Scheme, providing assistance to small business, funding for flood relief, and honesty and integrity in politics.

Albanese was declared the winner by 40% of the audience, with the prime minister snaffling the approval of 35% of those in the room. There was 25% of those observing the forum with the two leaders who remained undecided.

The opposition leader is not the only senior political figure to have been benched by the coronavirus during this election campaign.

Home Affairs minister Karen Andrews and her Labor counterpart Kristina Keneally have come back to campaign duties this week following a week out of circulation due to contracting the coronavirus themselves.


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