Todd Muller called a National Party caucus meeting via teleconference on Thursday to discuss the apparently momentous event of the week.
It was not the announcement of Hamish Walker's resignation from politics, nor the
imminent resignation of former National president Michelle Boag from the party for sending Covid patient details to frontbencher Michael Woodhouse, as well as rookie MP
The main subject of discussion was Todd Muller's speech on the economy in Christchurch earlier in the day, and how the five-point economic plan sits in National's campaign.
There was some reference to the scandal with a suggestion that MPs should give Walker the support he needed - and nobody argued with that.
The amiable but foolish first-term MP and new father will be shattered.
His promising career came to an abrupt end not only because of his own misjudgment in forwarding the information to media but his misplaced faith in Boag, who has been a private public relations adviser and political patron to him for several years.
She is loved and loathed in equal parts in the party after presiding over the 2002 electoral disaster.
MPs on Thursday's call were also told it was incumbent on them to let the leader's office know if they receive personal and sensitive information.
But the obvious question was not asked by Muller: had anyone else received similarly inappropriate material from Michelle Boag?
Perhaps he does not think it is important. Or perhaps he does not want to know the answer.
We may have to wait for the report by Michael Heron QC into the privacy breach for that, when Boag could be forced to give evidence under oath, and could have her computer seized to get the truth.
Muller now finds himself in a pre-election crisis over which he has little control.
Until Michael Woodhouse became involved, Muller may have thought he was inoculated.
Muller had been credited with having handled Hamish Walker decisively - although that was by people who conveniently ignored the fact Muller initially issued a mild rebuke to Walker and told him to co-operate with the Heron inquiry.
Most people had not heard of Walker until this week and the mess could have become a one or two week wonder.
The self-destruction of Boag and involvement of the National Party frontbench health spokesman puts it into a different league that threatens to undermine the credibility of the party.
Woodhouse did not pass on the information from Boag so he won't be sacked, but he is sullied by association.
He suspected Boag's involvement a week ago but told Muller only on Tuesday and both sat on it until Friday. Muller indicated at a press conference on Thursday he knew of no other MP who had received similar information from Boag.
He had just given a speech about his five-point economic plan to come – a much more substantive speech than Jacinda Ardern's speech last Sunday on her five-point plan.
But it sank without trace under the weight of the Covid privacy debacle.
Muller has been less than decisive and less than transparent and less than urgent in addressing it.
While Muller's primary message this year's election is to present his party as the more credible economic managers he has presided over a shambles in his own party.
Without any sense of irony, he spoke to reporters in Rotorua yesterday, hands in pockets, about the "shambles" the Government had presided over in managed isolation.
The latest target of National's criticism was the third person to have absconded from the mandatory 14-day managed isolation – out of a total of almost 30,000 who have gone through it.
Half an hour later, Health Minister Chris Hipkins held a press conference at Parliament in which he dispelled any sense that the Government did not have a handle on the situation or have a commitment to respond as urgently as possible.
The same cannot be said of Muller and National.