Scott Morrison’s call for Australians to ‘push through’ against the Omicron strain in his Christmas message has drawn a fierce reaction from anti-lockdown advocates – while others thanked him for his hard work during the pandemic.
The Prime Minister addressed the nation on Friday evening to wish everyone a Merry Christmas, while also encouraging Aussies to enjoy a ‘good long laugh out loud’ after a horror year of lockdowns and Covid-19 restrictions.
‘This pandemic continues to buffet us – the Omicron variant is just the latest challenge we have faced but together, always together and only together, do we keep pushing through,’ he said.
He thanked the ‘selfless’ frontline workers slogging away over Christmas, adding ‘may God especially bless you and your families’.
‘May those of us who have faith find great encouragement as we reflect on God’s great gift to us and his son Jesus Christ,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘And may all of us experience something of the joy and the wonder of Christmas.’
His message was celebrated by many, who in turn wished the Prime Minister a safe Christmas and thanked him for his service over the past year.
‘A very Happy Christmas to you and your beautiful family Scott,’ one commenter online wrote.
‘Thank you ScoMo for all your hard work especially during these unprecedented times,’ another said.
However others were offended about being told to enjoy their Christmas while many were struggling amid Covid lockdowns and travel restrictions.
‘He wants us to have a Christmas chuckle! While staring down the throat of a rampant Omicron. Isn’t that cute?’ said one.
‘Meaningless Christmas message Scott when as a Christian man you could have done so much more to prevent millions of Australians from losing their jobs,’ another wrote.
‘People are struggling because of stupid mandates,’ another said.
Scott Morrison has urged Australians to keep ‘pushing through’ the Covid-19 pandemic in his annual Christmas message
One took issue with Mr Morrison’s references to his religion, especially when Labor leader Anthony Albanese didn’t mention anything of the sort in his own Christmas message.
‘He can shove his religious sermon,’ one tweeted.
At the beginning of the four-minute address, Mr Morrison offered his condolences to the families of the six victims from the Devonport jumping castle tragedy.
‘Everything they cherished in life was taken from them in a terrible instant. It’s unimaginable, and so our hearts break for them,’ he said.
‘And this Christmas we’ll shed a tear and raise up prayers for them, I believe right across the country, for them that they might find some measure of comfort in this hour of their terrible grief.’
While many applauded the prime minister’s Christmas address, others said they were offended they were told to have a joyful Christmas amid the threat of Covid-19
He also sent a heartfelt message to families who may be missing loved ones around the Christmas tables this year.
‘Others will be missing a loved one for the first time, who is no longer around the Christmas table. We’re thinking of you also,’ he said.
‘Christmas, you know, is a time of hope and we are an optimistic people.
‘And whatever comes our way, we back ourselves to overcome and to push through, as we have during the course of this pandemic, saving lives and livelihoods like few other countries in the world.’
Mr Albanese said Aussies deserved to celebrate after a punishing two years during his Christmas message.
Mr Morrison said Australians deserved to have a ‘good long laugh out loud’ after a horrific two years amid Covid (pictured queue outside Covid testing clinic in Bondi)
The prime minister (pictured with wife Jenny) wished every Australian a Merry Christmas from him and his family
‘Now, with our borders opening up again, we’re getting back together,’ he said.
‘Off the Zoom and actually back in the room with family, friends and loved ones.’
The Labor leader also thanked Australians for standing together during the pandemic.
‘Thanks to everyone for taking care of each other,’ he said.
‘May the festive season bring you joy and may it be a sign of better times to come.’