On the face of it, it seems like Scott Morrison made a complete transformation — from “we can start treating COVID like a bad flu” reopening pragmatist to "I'm not going to take risks with Australian lives" — some time in April.
While Morrison certainly changed his publicly facing stance after Mark McGowan’s landslide win in Western Australia, that timing was more likely coincidental and ignores Morrison's penchant for dishonesty and willingness to do virtually anything to get reelected.
Morrison played the media and business community like fools throughout 2020. Ostensibly taking a pragmatic approach, the former Tourism Australia head regularly criticised the length and severity of the Victorian lockdown. Back in September, the ABC claimed Morrison had “applied the blowtorch” to Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, warning that “it will be important that more be done in the weeks ahead to safely ease more restrictions”.