Prime Minister pulls renegade MP into line, but Paleo Pete still out there

8 Feb 2021

Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week ordered backbencher Craig Kelly to refrain from pushing views that are contrary to health advice, just weeks after the AMA called for a crackdown on health misinformation.

Mr Kelly, a Liberal from the Prime Minister’s home turf of southern Sydney, has been spruiking the use of unauthorised treatments and claims that mandatory mask wearing is child abuse.

He appeared in a podcast this week with disgraced celebrity chef and anti-vaxxer Pete Evans, who has urged his followers to sign a petition demanding no restrictions be placed on people who refuse to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

The petition, which has been submitted to the House of Representatives, calls on the Australian government to confirm there will be “no restrictions placed on citizens or residents who refuse a COVID-19 vaccination”.

Dr Khorshid said while no one should be forced to get the vaccine, individual governments will need to make assessments for certain situations that could pose an increased risk of spreading COVID-19.

“Australians can have confidence in the safety of any vaccines approved for use in Australia, and the AMA encourages everyone who can be vaccinated to be vaccinated,” Dr Khorshid told News Corp.

“The vaccine should not be mandatory. However, individual governments will need to make risk assessments along the way depending on the levels of COVID in the community about restrictions on gatherings and travel, to keep their communities safe and restrict the spread of the virus.”