Federal Dawson MP Greg Christensen.
Federal Dawson MP Greg Christensen.

‘Dangerous idiots’: COVID ‘cure’ letters delivered

LETTERS promoting "dangerous and discredited" claims about the drug hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients have landed in Ipswich letterboxes.

The open letter to Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young, which is dated September 29, is signed by Federal LNP backbenchers George Christensen and Craig Kelly.

They call on Dr Young not to extend an order criminalising the prescription of the drug by doctors made earlier in the year.


Open letter to Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young from Federal MPs Craig Kelly and George Christensen.
Open letter to Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young from Federal MPs Craig Kelly and George Christensen.

It is emblazoned with the Commonwealth Coat of Arms.

Mr Kelly told the QT the open letter was emailed to Dr Young on September 29 by Mr Christensen.

"On the same day we both posted it to our social media," he said.

"It was viewed over 200,000 times on my (Facebook) and shared over 3500 times.

"No taxpayer funds were used in 'boosting' its distribution. All shares were generic.

"I can confirm that neither George nor myself printed any copies nor distributed any copies of this open letter, and no taxpayer funds were used.

"I would further note, that I stand 100 per cent by every word of this letter, and every statement in it is supported by facts and evidence."

A spokesman for Mr Christensen told the Courier Mail the Dawson MP had not authorised the document to be letterboxed and he was not aware that it was being mailed out.

He confirmed the letter was genuine and had been previously posted on his Facebook page.

The letter was posted on the Palmer Foundation website, which is owned by mining magnate Clive Palmer, on September 30.

Mr Palmer bought 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine.

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The use of the drug to treat patients, which is consistently spruiked by US President Donald Trump, has been widely condemned by medical experts.

National COVID-19 Clinical Evidence Taskforce executive director Associate Professor Julian Elliott said in August hydroxychloroquine "definitively … should not be used as a treatment for anyone with COVID-19."

Blair MP Shayne Neumann said Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt needed to condemn the letter after being told by local residents they had received it.

"This is misinformation, it's dangerous to the health of people in the Ipswich region as well as nationally," he said.

Hughes MP Craig Kelly.
Hughes MP Craig Kelly.

"These two idiots, and that's what they are, they have taken their campaign of misinformation to the next level.

"Now they claim there's an anonymous third party that's mailed out their letter. I mean seriously?

"They've gone into parliament and made speeches like this, they've stuck this stuff on social media. They're foolish and they're idiotic."

Mr Neumann said it was important that people listen to medical experts and not the "rantings and ravings" of the two MPs.

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"The health experts and medical experts say that the medication these people want to use is dangerous, it doesn't work, and yet this campaign of misinformation is not being challenged by the Prime Minister or the Health Minister," he said.

"This is more interference by an LNP campaign in the Ipswich region based not on science, not on medicine but on lies and this is an utter disgrace.

"These two should know better. They've both been in parliament for a long time.

"They should be sanctioned by their Prime Minister and by their Health Minister.

"The LNP Opposition Leader (Deb Frecklington) and the LNP candidates across the Ipswich region need to disavow this."

Blair MP Shayne Neumann.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann.

Labor's Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen wrote to Mr Morrison on Wednesday, urging him to condemn the pair for repeating "dangerous and discredited" claims.

Ipswich MP Jennifer Howard said it was "embarrassing" conduct from two longtime members of federal parliament.

"They're basically spreading conspiracy theories which goes against the advice of their Federal Government body (the Therapeutic Goods Administration)," she said.

"Dr Jeannette Young is taking advice from the TGA. There's no evidence to support that the drug works.

"Saying otherwise is dangerous."

The LNP has been contacted for comment.

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.