Australia live news: McCormack under pressure over Covid misinformation; NSW races to solve mystery cases | Australia news

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Good morning all, Matilda Boseley here ready to take you through all the news that will undoubtedly unfold this Wednesday.

If you see anything that you think belongs in the blog, make sure you send it through to me on Twitter @MatildaBoseley or by email on matilda.boseley@hafta-ichi.com.

Yesterday we spoke (at length) about the Nationals leader and acting prime minister Michael McCormack who managed to have an extremely controversial first 48 hours in the top job. (He is holding the reins of the country while Scott Morrison is on holidays).

McCormack has refused to condemn National MP George Christensen and Liberal MP Craig Kelly, after they spent the last few days spreading misinformation on Facebook.

Kelly on Monday night posted saying that mandatory mask-wearing was “child abuse”, citing a number of dubious statistics from a non-peer-reviewed study.

These comments have been slammed by the Australian Medical Association and the federal opposition, but McCormack responded to questions about whether politicians should be censured for spreading misinformation by saying that “facts are contentious” and politicians are entitled to their own opinions.

(And if you thought one controversy just wasn’t enough, McCormack also repeatedly compared the deadly insurrection of the US Capitol building to Black Lives Matter protests across the world, and stated “All lives matter”, a popular anti-BLM catchphrase.)

In Covid-19 news, NSW is still scrambling to find the source of multiple mystery cases across Sydney as they continue to “mop up” clusters.

Four weeks on from discovering the northern beaches outbreak, NSW Health is still trying to link 14 recent coronavirus cases to known clusters. Of the five locally acquired coronavirus cases reported on yesterday, the origins of four new cases – one on the northern beaches (who has infected a close contact of that person) and one in Blacktown (who has infected a close contact of that person) – are so far unknown.

All up, 12 cases found since 16 December are still being investigated by NSW contact tracers, including three detected before Christmas.

NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian stated it was unlikely that any further restrictions would be eased this week.

Hafta Ichi
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Australia live news: McCormack under pressure over Covid misinformation; NSW races to solve mystery cases | Australia news

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