Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly has refused to pass comment on social media theories shared by Liberal MP Craig Kelly, saying he doesn’t wish to give prominence to non-scientific ideas.
Speaking during a national coronavirus update today, Professor Kelly reminded Mr Kelly of the influence his political position gives him in the community.
“He needs to decide what is the appropriate thing for a member of parliament to be commenting on,” Professor Kelly said.
“I’m not going to talk further about this because it just gives prominence to views that I don’t agree with and are not scientifically based.”
Mr Kelly has come under repeated criticism in recent days over concerns he is actively spreading misinformation on the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Using the social media platform Facebook, Mr Kelly promotes the use of vitamin D and zinc along with unproven medicines in treating COVID-19.
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Acting Prime Minister Michael McCormack has refused to criticise Mr Kelly over the posts, but backed the recommendations made by the Chief Medical Officer.
“I would say Paul Kelly is the Kelly to listen to,” Mr McCormack said.
“Take the best possible advice, listen to Paul Kelly.”
Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has called for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take action over what Mr Kelly posts on Facebook.
“At best, what Craig Kelly is doing is reckless. At worst, it’s downright dangerous,” Mr Albanese wrote on Twitter.
“Seeding doubt about vaccines. Calling masks a ‘form of child abuse’.
“Spreading misinformation during a pandemic is unforgivable. It’s time for Scott Morrison to pull his handpicked MP into line.”
Beyond Blue’s Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348