Public urged to heed expert health advice regarding Covid-19 and vaccines

Following reports that Federal MP Craig Kelly has appeared on a 90-minute podcast with disgraced celebrity chef, Pete Evans, The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is urging Australians to heed expert health advice regarding Covid-19 and the vaccine rollout.

“It is unacceptable that Craig Kelly is persisting in disseminating misinformation concerning Covid-19 and to appear on this podcast with a disgraced former celebrity chef is very unhelpful,” says RACGP President Dr Karen Price, adding that this latest news is “particularly disappointing”.

“We are still in the middle of a pandemic that is leaving many people feeling understandably anxious and exhausted. Those [like] Pete Evans are preying on that anxiety to peddle false information and he should not be enabled by anyone, especially a federal Member of Parliament,” continues Dr Price.

“I understand Mr Kelly’s argument that he is happy and willing to advance his point of view with any interviewed. However, he must appreciate that Pete Evans is using these platforms to spread alarming misinformation, including content linked to the Qanon conspiracy theory and Covid-19 denialist claims.

“As the President of an organisation representing thousands of GPs across Australia, I urge all public figures, particularly elected politicians, to act responsibly.”

‘Avoid pseudo-scientific cures and baseless conspiracy theories’

Dr Price encourages Australians to listen to the experts when it comes to Covid-19 and all other health issues.

“My advice to all Australians is straightforward but more vital than ever – when it comes to the Covid-19 virus and the vaccine, please heed expert health advice, including from your GP.

“Avoid pseudo-scientific ‘cures’ and baseless conspiracy theories on social media platforms and elsewhere. I appreciate that this is an anxious time and not all people are convinced they will receive the Covid-19 vaccine.

“But please take the opportunity to talk with your doctor, we have your best interests at heart and can answer any questions you have ­­– including on the vaccine.”

National campaign

In 2020, the RACGP launched a nation-wide campaign, Expert Advice Matters, which urged all patients to take care of their health and heed expert media advice.

The RACGP is also providing information and resources on the Covid-19 vaccine to support GPs and patients.

To access this information, visit: racgp.org.au/clinical-resources/covid-19-vaccine-resources/news-and-updates/covid-19-vaccine-information-for-gps

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