Foreign Minister, Marise Payne tweeted this: “Disinformation & misinformation can undermine efforts to contain Covid-19 & save lives. will [sic] continue to work on countering the spread of false & harmful material on social media by joining the PledgetoPause”1. The ‘Pledge to Pause’ is simply a reminder to think before you forward anything which may contain disinformation. From a normal person this would be sensible, but this is from a member of the Coalition federal government, and so is effectively saying ‘do what we say, not what we do’. This is because, as one respondent tweeted: “This would be a great message if you didn’t sit on your hands every time Craig Kelly opened his big dumb mouth to push a conspiracy theory or discredited cure”2. One could suspect that Payne is only saying this to keep unengaged non-conspiracy theorist types happy, and that Craig Kelly is laying out what a large proportion of the nutters in this federal government believe. After all, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is a QAnon conspiracy theorist.
In addition to Payne’s inaction, Greg Hunt, the federal Health Minister, has refused to condemn the idiotic Coalition MPs Craig Kelly and George Christensen who are continuing to push the debunked treatment for Covid-19, saying the pair were “entitled to their views”. Medical experts have ruled that the drug, hydroxychloroquine should not be used to treat Covid-19 outside clinical trials. Hydroxychloroquine became popular among knuckledraggers when it was mentioned early in the pandemic by the mind-numbingly stupid Donald Trump, despite mounting evidence from medical experts it could cause more harm than good. Despite this, Kelly and Christensen continue to use their public platforms to push for the drug’s inclusion in treatments of Covid-19 in Australia4. Given that Hunt is the Health Minister and, in the real world, would be expected to rebuke Kelly and Christensen, it is unsurprising that Hunt’s name has entered the rhyming slang lexicon.
While the stupidity of Kelly, especially with regard to his promotion of hydroxychloroquine, has been dealt with elsewhere5, it is the inability or the unwillingness of senior ministers to point out that Kelly is an idiot, which is astonishing. The electorate of Hughes deserves a better representative in the parliament than Kelly and the nation deserves better ministers than Hunt and Payne who put their majority in parliament above the lives of citizens.