According to Scott Morrison, the government will spend $24 million to build public trust for the COVID-19 vaccine rollout. However, in the same announcement, he still refused to rebuke Liberal MP Craig Kelly for spreading coronavirus conspiracy theories and promoting unproven drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine. Go figure.
Speaking at the National Press Club on Monday, Morrison outlined the government’s $1.9 billion plan to get the country vaccinated by October (which includes the $24 million information campaign). But when asked about the anti-vaxxers within his own party, the Prime Minister was pretty dismissive.
“Well, we’ve been very clear to point out where you get your information from. You don’t get it from Facebook. You get it from official government websites, and that’s what I encourage everyone to do,” Morrison.
“Don’t go to Facebook to find out about the vaccine. Go to official government websites.
“You want to understand about vaccines, go and talk to [Chief Medical Officer] Brendan Murphy over there. That’s what I do.”
here's the Australian Government's Department of Health Facebook page vs Craig Kelly's number of interactions over the last 6 months. pic.twitter.com/1rzatuJTZ8
— CAMERONWILSON (@cameronwilson) February 1, 2021
The problem is, of course, that people like Craig Kelly have a much greater organic reach than government websites.
When pressed about Kelly, Morrison cracked a lame joke and talked up his electoral success.
“He’s not my doctor and he’s not yours! He has a great job in [his electorate of] Hughes,” he said.
Around three quarters of Aussies apparently want Morrison to tell Kelly to shut the fuck up, yet he’s still acting like the man isn’t spreading serious and potentially-dangerous misinformation during a global pandemic.
After all, Kelly has over 75,000 likes on Facebook which is frankly wild for a backbencher. On top of that, his posts are among the most widely engaged-with of any Aussie politician, regularly outperforming the PM himself.
Now people have taken matters into their own hands, downrating his Facebook page into oblivion.
Whether that will have a long-term impact remains to be seen, but at the very least, it’s a nice bout of karmic retribution for someone who really needs to just log the heck off.