Scott Morrison’s coronavirus press conference was lacking empathy.

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Australians need to feel heard, understood right now. We need to have our concern acknowledged and any rising panic firmly, quickly quashed.

We need some empathy.

Yes, we’re facing a crisis situation and a calm, unflappable leader (or, at least, the image of one) is crucial. But the best crisis leadership involves both.

We saw it in New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in the wake of the Christchurch massacre last March. She was resolute in her public-facing political response, and compassionate when face-to-face with mourners.

We saw it in Shane Fitzsimmons, Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service, during the recent Australian bushfire crisis. He communicated updates and action plans with total, reassuring conviction, while also being empathetic and vulnerable…

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