Andrew Forrest claims Chinese official spoke with ‘full authority’ of Health Minister
Mining magnate and billionaire philanthropist Andrew Forrest has tapped his contacts in China to secure 10 million coronavirus test kits, delivering a 20-fold increase in Australia’s testing capacity.
Andrew Forrest joined health minister Greg Hunt at a press conference to announce the deal but it was the awkward presence of a Chinese consular official which has led to claims that China hijacked the press conference.
It’s understood that Victoria Consul-General of China Long Zhou was invited to the press conference by Mr Forrest, not by Mr Hunt, and the Chinese official’s presence came as a surprise.
However, Andrew Forrest tells Brooke Corte that Victoria Consul-General of China Long Zhou was authorised to speak at the press conference by the Health Minister.
“I invited the Consul-General to speak, with the full authority of the Minister for Health, and he gave such a strong speech about nations working together,” Mr Forrest said.
The Fortescue chairman says the tests will allow Australia to unlock parts of the Australian economy in lieu of a vaccine for the deadly disease, and the 10 million test kits will enable mass testing across the country.
“Australia now has that capacity… and I think that on a per capita basis, we’re as weaponised against this virus as any country in the world.”
Click PLAY to hear Brooke Corte speak with Andrew Forrest: