Malcolm Turnbull has slammed Scott Morrison for failing to take a tougher line with MPs promoting “dangerous” crackpot COVID-19 cures including hair lice treatments and the use of the antiseptic Betadine.
The former prime minister has warned it’s time to “call out” Liberal MPs, including NSW MP Craig Kelly, who are developing huge social media followings by promoting wild claims about the virus.
Mr Kelly’s Facebook account now has an army of followers who are reading up to three posts a day promoting controversial theories and claims that asking children to wear face masks was “child abuse”.
“Well, look, the very least the Prime Minister and the Health Minister, Acting Prime Minister, should call it out for what it is,’’ Mr Turnbull said.
“I mean, you know, freedom of speech does not mean freedom from responsibility.
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“Morrison and McCormack and Hunt and others should be saying – at the very least – is that Craig Kelly is wrong and that it is reckless and irresponsible to be misleading the Australian public on matters of public health.”
Mr Turnbull said it was “hard to think of anything more important” than public confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine.
“And if you have got a member of parliament pedalling misleading and dangerous information, then that, at the very least, needs to be called out and condemned and contradicted by the Government,’’ he said.
Liberal MP Craig Kelly has promoted a range of theories on COVID-19 on his page but has attacked claims he’s promoting misinformation about the hair lice treatment Ivermectin after posting another study overnight.
“For all those ignorant ill-informed Ivermectin deniers out there, piling on the abuse and claiming Ivermectin is all ‘conspiracy theory’ stuff and ‘misinformation’ (Chris Bowen, Jenna Price @SMH, The Guardian, etc) – read it and weep, wash the blood off your hands and apologise for your ignorance and prejudice,’’ Mr Kelly said.
“And then join my call for the National COVID Evidence Task Force to IMMEDIATELY reverse their recommendation against using Ivermectin to fight COVID.
“And I wonder if the ABC or any MSM media report this story tonight?”
Mr Kelly has also posted links to studies suggesting that the antiseptic Betadine could reduce hospitalisations by 84 per cent.
“I have not ‘DECLARED’’ anything about Betadine,’’ Mr Kelly said.
“What I did, was post the details of a study published in the journal Bioresearch Communications, Volume 7, Issue 1, January 2021 – by the lead author Assistant Professor Iqbal Mahmud Chowdhury MD – in which they ran a randomised controlled clinical trial, the results of which were those taking the Betadine treatment in the study had a 84 per cent reduction in COVID infections compare to those in the placebo group.”
Mr Turnbull also rubbished the Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack’s suggestion that Twitter should not ban US President Donald Trump.
“Let’s be quite frank about this – Donald Trump incited a mob, many of them armed, to attack the Congress of the United States.
“To attack and besiege it. I mean, this is one of the most humiliating, devastating moments, blackest days, in American history and Trump incited it,’’ he said.
“So I think – I think that, you know, Twitter and Facebook have been acting responsibly.”