‘Crazy conspiracies’: Plibersek confronts Kelly over COVID drug claims

Labor frontbencher Tanya Plibersek has confronted Liberal MP Craig Kelly in Parliament House over his disputed claims about COVID-19, telling him he is putting public health at risk.

Ms Plibersek, a former health minister, warned Mr Kelly that his comments could spread doubt about vaccines and leave people exposed to those who were carrying the coronavirus.

A series of photos showing shadow minister for education and shadow minister for women Tanya Plibersek and Liberal MP Craig Kelly having a robust discussion as they cross paths in the corridor of the press gallery in Canberra.Credit:Alex Ellinghausen

“My mum lives in your electorate and I don’t want her exposed to people who are not going to be vaccinated because of these crazy conspiracy theories that you’re spreading,” Ms Plibersek said.

The clash came in the press gallery corridor on Wednesday morning when the two were speaking to journalists and doing television interviews.

Mr Kelly defended himself by citing the work of immunologist Robert Clancy, an Emeritus Professor at Newcastle University, in favour of hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin as treatments for COVID-19.

Professor Clancy told The Sydney Morning Herald and The Age on Tuesday that studies had shown hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin worked, but Commonwealth Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said last month there was not enough evidence to show they should be used.

Mr Kelly told Ms Plibersek that she was the one spreading misinformation.

“So your Prime Minister is wrong, is he?” Ms Plibersek asked.

“No, the Prime Minister is 100 per cent right,” Mr Kelly said.

“Scott Morrison agrees with you, does he Craig?” she asked.

The government has been unable to curb Mr Kelly even though his public claims are at odds with the official health advice from Professor Kelly and the former chief medical officer, Brendan Murphy, now Health Secretary.

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