The Premier insisted in a series of tweets thousands will die each month if borders open, but these claims were fiercely rejected.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has warned more than 2000 people will die each month if she follows instructions to open borders when vaccine coverage reaches 70 per cent.
The Queensland Premier cited preferred modelling from the Doherty Institute when making the claim, but many have rebuked the assumption of the data including the Federal Health Minister who said the misuse of the numbers “breaches good faith and damages public confidence”.
Ms Palaszczuk fired off a number of tweets on Thursday morning as she stood in state parliament and furiously defended her position.
“If NSW is the model of what lies in store for all of us, then serious discussions are needed,” Ms Palaszczuk tweeted.
“Doherty Institute modelling predicts, even with 70 per cent of the population vaccinated, 80 people will die each day six months after the outbreak.
“That’s 2240 who will die each month.”
But the Premier’s interpretation of the data has been criticised as inaccurate because she assumed the number of deaths a day will occur in perpetuity rather than peaking at 80 and then beginning to fall.
Therefore, the declaration of 2240 deaths, which is 80 deaths a day for 28 days, is an very unlikely occurrence based on the institute’s modelling.
The maximum number of deaths is also assumed as a worst-case scenario and is only applied when vaccination coverage sits at 70 per cent.
Ms Palaszczuk’s comments assume this percentage of vaccination will be in place for an extended period of time but it is considered the rate will climb to 80 per cent at a relatively steady pace.
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said the flawed interpretation of the data would serve to damage crucial communications to manage the health crisis.
“Selectively misusing the Doherty modelling breaches good faith and damages public confidence,” he told reporters.
The figures shared by Ms Palaszczuk were also played down by Gladys Berejiklian who said the numbers represented a potential loss of life across the nation which the NSW Premier said was similar to the number of annual deaths caused by the flu.
“I know this is a very difficult conversation to have,” she told reporters on Thursday morning.
“This is what will get us through, this is the light at the end of the tunnel — accepting covid is part of our lives, accepting that unfortunately people will die.
“But they will be less likely to die if everybody is vaccinated and this is the reality.
“That is why, as New South Wales is the largest state, we have often had to lead the debate on this, and often I have had to say something as a state leader, as difficult as it has been, it is to help all of us come together and manage the transition to living with covid-normal.”
The tweets come after the Queensland Premier was blasted by the Morrison government over her refusal to agree to a plan to open borders.
National cabinet was presented with modelling from the Doherty Institute recently which advised lockdowns and enforced border closures would no longer be needed when jab protection reaches a specific threshold.
But Ms Palaszczuk continues to defy instructions from federal counterparts, infuriating many senior Morrison government cabinet figures.
A steady stream of senior federal cabinet ministers tore into the Queensland Premier after she raised concerns on Wednesday about the need to vaccinate children, creating a new barrier to open borders.
Ms Palaszczuk also told parliament she wants more research into the impacts of Covid-19 on children and for this risk to be considered in the modelling.
“Unless there is an answer on how these young people are going to be vaccinated, you are putting this most vulnerable population at risk,” she said.
“You open up this state and you let the virus in here, every child under 12 is vulnerable.”
Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews accused the Premier of “scaremongering” while Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg continued the assault on the state leader on Thursday.
“It‘s a desperate denial of the reality and is not based on the medical advice,” he told Sunrise.
“The medical advice is that we should vaccinated people aged 12 to 15 – which we’re doing.”