An Australian lawmaker who promoted baseless conspiracy theories about the pandemic and vaccines has quit the ruling party Photo: AFP/File
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Australian MP who promoted pandemic conspiracies quits ruling party

15 Comments

An Australian lawmaker who frequently peddled pandemic misinformation quit the conservative government Tuesday, weeks after being publicly dressed down by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Craig Kelly repeatedly used social media and the floor of parliament to question the safety of coronavirus vaccines, oppose lockdowns, and promote unproven COVID-19 treatments such as Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and headlice medication ivermectin.

"I felt that for the rest of this parliamentary term, if I'm going to act and speak according to my conscience and my beliefs, that I can do so more effectively as an independent," the Sydney MP told public broadcaster ABC.

The Sydney MP informed colleagues of his decision at a party meeting in Canberra, and Morrison confirmed Kelly's departure, saying he "no longer felt that he could meet" the commitment to stop spreading misinformation.

Kelly's Facebook account -- which also frequently plays down climate change -- had around six million video views and five million interactions in 2020, according to data tool CrowdTangle.

His latest expression of "concerns" about COVID-19 treatments comes as Australia enters the second day of mass vaccination.

Public opinion polls show around three-in-four Australians intend to get vaccinated, but misinformation is widespread on prominent media platforms.

© 2021 AFP

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

15 Comments
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This man is a complete fool. If ScoMo carries out his threat and calls an election for late this year, then Kelly will have to run as an independent in his own seat and will almost certainly be out of Parliament. And amen to that.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Craig Kelly repeatedly used social media and the floor of parliament to question the safety of coronavirus vaccines, oppose lockdowns, and promote unproven COVID-19 treatments such as Malaria drug hydroxychloroquine and headlice medication ivermectin.

So what is his crime? He might be wrong on some issues, but free speech must allow for different viewpoints.

The last thing Australia (and the rest of us) needs is a Ministry of Truth.

-8 ( +5 / -13 )

So what is his crime? He might be wrong on some issues, but free speech must allow for different viewpoints.

No crime. Did you read the article?

He has made his choices and now has the freedom to continue as an independent and peddle whatever kind of barmy he wants to.

Free speech.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

No crime. Did you read the article?

He has made his choices and now has the freedom to continue as an independent and peddle whatever kind of barmy he wants to.

Free speech.

Very accurate and sensible, but you must admit febrile and misplaced 1984 images are much more exciting.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

I felt that for the rest of this parliamentary term, if I'm going to act and speak according to my conscience and my beliefs, that I can do so more effectively as an independent,

The world needs more people like him that have courage and conviction, he stood up to the bullies.

Well done Sir.

-6 ( +4 / -10 )

Some of these people then go on to jump the queue and get the vaccination. Like Little Marco.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

If he can't support his statements with facts, then his words don't carry weight

Gotta support it, or it's just empty words

Anybody could make empty words; that's nothing special

6 ( +7 / -1 )

I don’t see anything that he said that was wrong. “Misinformation” is the new, leftist authoritarian term for “information we don’t agree with.”

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

If he can't support his statements with facts, then his words don't carry weight

But the other side can’t support its statements with facts too. Did masks, vaccines, PCR testing, lockdowns and all that defeat the virus? By far not. I don’t agree with such people, but they are still not proved wrong as well the overwhelming majority is still not proved right.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

...and I thought it would be a Pauline Hanson story...

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Kelly; now there's a famous (usually for the wrong reasons) old Australian name.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

But the other side can’t support its statements with facts too. Did masks, vaccines, PCR testing, lockdowns and all that defeat the virus?

A couple of research papers:

"Evaluating the Effectiveness of Social Distancing Interventions to Delay or Flatten the Epidemic Curve of Coronavirus Disease"

https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26/8/20-1093_article

"Social network-based distancing strategies to flatten the COVID-19 curve in a post-lockdown world"

https://www.nature.com/articles/s41562-020-0898-6

I'd like to read opposing research. Show me the work

1 ( +2 / -1 )

So what is his crime?

Yeah, and where are the monkeys!

Not that anyone brought up monkeys. Or that he committed a crime. But I'm just ringing in on this idea of asking where things unrelated to the current story at hand, that no one has suggested, are.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Completely misleading headline. Actually he found himself surrounded by tyrants and has decided to do something about it

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

The world needs more people like him that have courage and conviction, he stood up to the bullies.

Well done Sir.

Yes, looking like a complete an uneducated fool is a real achievement!

1 ( +2 / -1 )

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