Prime Minister Scott Morrison has finally addressed the medical misinformation spread by backbencher Craig Kelly in the House of Representatives, saying the government's policies on vaccination and treatment for COVID-19 were backed by medical advice.
"The views expressed by the member for Hughes do not align with my views, or the views and the advice that has been provided by me by the Chief Medical Officer," Mr Morrison said.
Referring to his meeting with Mr Kelly earlier on Wednesday, Mr Morrison said he had made his views very clear.
"Vaccination is critical, it is our primary responsibility this year, as we continue to respond to the pandemic and I welcome the statement, which I table, that was issued by the member for Hughes following our meeting."
Labor was once again blocked by Speaker Tony Smith from asking questions about Mr Kelly on Wednesday, but Mr Morrison stood up at the end of question time to make his position clear.
It appears the clash in the halls with Ms Plibersek was the final straw for the Prime Minister, who called the recalcitrant backbencher to his office to pull him into line.
In a statement, Mr Kelly said Prime Minister Scott Morrison had "reinforced the importance of ensuring public confidence in the government's vaccine strategy" and that he had agreed to support the government's vaccine rollout.
In the statement, Mr Kelly said "I have always sought to support the success of our nation's public health response during the pandemic".
"I believe that the spread of misinformation can damage the success of our public health response during the pandemic."
Mr Kelly's prolific social media posts on unproven treatments for COVID-19 and campaign against senior health officials have been a headache for senior figures in the government, with fears he was undermining confidence in the vaccine rollout and distracting from the government's main message.
Earlier on Wednesday, Ms Plibersek took Mr Kelly to task for his claims about unproven treatments for COVID-19.
In the press gallery hallways in between media interviews, Mr Kelly confronted Ms Plibersek, who told him his claims about unproven treatments for COVID-19 were dangerous.
"My mum lives in your electorate and I don't want her exposed to people who are not vaccinated because of your crazy conspiracy theories," Ms Plibersek said.
Ms Plibersek asked Mr Kelly if Prime Minister Scott Morrison agreed with him.
"The Prime Minister is 100 per cent right," Mr Kelly said.
"So Scott Morrison agrees with you?" Ms Plibersek asked.
"My Prime Minister will speak for himself," Mr Kelly replied.
Mr Kelly urged Ms Plibersek to heed the words of immunologist Robert Clancy, quoted in the Sydney Morning Herald today backing Mr Kelly's claims on hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.
On hydroxychloroquine, Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has said "there is no evidence at the moment that it has any benefit or any use in relation to the prevention or treatment of COVID-19".
Before the war of words, Ms Plibersek said it was "beyond time the PM just told Craig Kelly to shut up" and labelled him a "taxpayer-funded nong".
While Mr Kelly had circulated the statement through the media, he is yet to post it to his Facebook, where he has one of the largest social media reaches of any Australian politician.
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