It is bad enough to look uncaring about the deaths of 258 people in aged care homes. It is even worse to look out of your depth about what to do next.
The minister directly responsible for those homes, Richard Colbeck, did nothing on Friday to raise confidence in his ability to handle the coronavirus outbreaks in aged care.
Asked how many residents had died from the outbreaks, the federal Aged Care Minister did not know. Asked how many cases there were, he could not say.
A minister can be forgiven for not knowing the answer to a surprise question in a hostile Senate committee hearing, but Colbeck was asked for basic facts about the biggest emergency he is likely to face in his political career.