Australian PM urged to rebuke lawmaker for Covid disinformation

Scott Morrison, Australia's prime minister, removes his protective face mask after arriving for a signing ceremony with Yoshihide Suga, Japan's prime minister at Suga's official residence in Tokyo, Japan

A poll published on Monday revealed that 76 per cent of Australians have called on Prime Minister Scott Morrison to rebuke a lawmaker over disinformation regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

The poll published by the think tank Australia Institute found that 76 per cent of Australians agreed that Morrison “has a responsibility to clearly and publicly criticize” members of his governing Liberal National Party coalition who spread misinformation about the pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

It comes after government MP Craig Kelly shared posts on social media earlier in January likening mask mandates for children to child abuse.

“Forcing children to wear masks is causing massive physical & psychological harm – that can only be defined as child abuse,” he wrote.

The poll found that disapproval of Kelly was strong across party lines with 77 per cent of coalition voters agreeing that he should be censured.

In the wake of the post the peak body for doctors, the Australian Medical Association (AMA), called on Morrison to publicly condemn Kelly and others who were “torching the foundation of community health and science”/

“Hopefully we can get the leaders being very strong and clear in their advice and strong about supporting science,” AMA Vice President Chris Moy said.

The Australia Institute also found that 56 percent of voters agreed that Morrison should criticise or condemn outgoing US President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the January 6 Capitol Hill riots in Washington D.C.

Morrison condemned participants in the riots for the “terribly distressing” scenes but has not addressed Trump’s role.

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