Experts condemn MP’s ‘crackpot ideas’

NZNEWS.CO

A number of Australia’s leading doctors have lashed outspoken Liberal MP Craig Kelly for repeatedly peddling “crackpot ideas” about COVID-19. 

Mr Kelly has built a significant online following, sharing posts denying climate change, labelling face masks “child abuse” and promoting the drug Hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus. 

This week, however, the veteran backbencher has drawn attention to himself by spruiking the head lice medication Ivermectin as a means to treat the virus. 

And while Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt have refused to criticise Mr Kelly’s social media activities, that didn’t stop our chief medical officer. 

“He’s no relation, I can absolutely guarantee that,” Professor Paul Kelly said of the MP on Wednesday. 

“He needs to decide what is the appropriate thing for a Member of Parliament to be commenting on.” 

Dr Omar Khorshid, president of the Australian Medical Association, told the ABC it was “really disappointing to see people who should know better getting out there and putting out just crackpot ideas on health issues, and most significantly, during a global pandemic”. 

Meanwhile, the debacle surrounding a cluster of the “mutant” UK virus strain at a Brisbane hotel has spread interstate, with certain residents in Victoria and NSW ordered to test and isolate immediately. 

Anyone in NSW who has been at Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor since December 30 – either as a returned traveller or staff member – must immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days after they were last at the hotel, regardless of their test result

Victorians have been issued the same advice, however only need to quarantine until they receive a negative result

Read on for all the latest updates.

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A number of Australia’s leading doctors have lashed outspoken Liberal MP Craig Kelly for repeatedly peddling ‘crackpot ideas’ about COVID-19.

Mr Kelly has built a significant online following, sharing posts denying climate change, labelling face masks “child abuse” and promoting the drug Hydroxychloroquine as a cure for coronavirus.

This week, however, the veteran backbencher has drawn attention to himself by spruiking the head lice medication Ivermectin as a means to treat the virus.

“Our health bureaucrats still claim ‘there’s not enough evidence’ so do everything they can to deny Australian from access Ivermectin to treat covid – as they impose compulsory mask mandates while driving a car, and tout for everyone to be injected with the vaccines,” Mr Kelly wrote in one of a series of posts on the drug.

Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

And while both Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack and Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt have refused to criticise Mr Kelly’s social media activities, that didn’t stop our chief medical officer.

“He’s no relation, I can absolutely guarantee that,” Professor Paul Kelly said of the MP on Wednesday.

“He needs to decide what is the appropriate thing for a member of parliament to be commenting on.”

Dr Omar Khorshid, president of the Australian Medical Assocation, told the ABC it’s “really disappointing to see people who should know better getting out there and putting out just crackpot ideas on health issues, and most significantly, during a global pandemic”.

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Health chiefs have rushed to reassure Australians on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines, warning the biggest threat is that the nation is “completely non-immune” to the virus.

There is rising concern that alarmist reporting of the effectiveness of the different vaccines could “rock” public confidence in the program.

Australia’s success in suppressing the virus is one of the big reasons why experts say it’s vital the vaccine is rolled out as soon as possible.

Picture: NCA NewsWire/Gary Ramage

Amid a debate over the effectiveness of the Pfizer vaccine compared to AstraZeneca vaccine, chief medical officer Paul Kelly has warned that both vaccines are “very good”.

But because so few Australians have contracted the virus, the threat is there’s hardly an immunity, let alone “herd immunity” which makes the nation particularly susceptible to the mutant virus detected in international travellers returning from the United Kingdom and South Africa.

– By Samantha Maiden

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The debacle surrounding a cluster of the “mutant” UK virus strain at a Brisbane hotel has spread interstate, with certain residents in Victoria and NSW ordered to test and isolate immediately.

Anyone in NSW who has been at Brisbane’s Hotel Grand Chancellor since December 30 – either as a returned traveller or as a staff member – has been asked to immediately get tested and isolate for 14 days after they were last at the hotel, regardless of their test result.

NSW Health has also requested these people call 1300 066 055 for further advice.

Picture: Tara Croser

In a statement, NSW Health said they had been notified by their Queensland counterparts that there were NSW people staying at the hotel who have since returned to NSW.

“This variant is known to spread more easily from person to person than other strains of the COVID-19 virus,” the department said.

Victorians have been issued the same advice, but are instead asked to call 1800 675 398 and only need to quarantine until they receive a negative result.

The warning comes after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk revealed this morning that six cases of super strain have now been linked to the hotel.

Of those cases, one includes a cleaner whose infection sent Brisbane into a strict three-day lockdown over the weekend.