PM slams ‘spreading misinformation online’ about NT COVID-19 outbreak

Northern Territory Premier Michael Gunner used a COVID-19 update news conference to denounce misinformation spread by anti-vaccination advocates and from overseas conspiracy theorists who, he says, could harm Indigenous people.

Mr. Gunner announced at the press conference A new case in the event of an outbreak of the disease and the lifting of the strict closure For one of the communities that, earlier in the week, were deemed most vulnerable.

Mr. Gunner also called it Positive day“In the current outbreak, which has mostly affected the indigenous population of the Earth.

However, he noted what he called “a massive amount of misinformation that has been circulating online in the past few days”.

“I don’t really want to lean on the lies that are being spread,” he said.

Northern Territory Premier Michael Gunner speaks to the media.  His expression is serious.
Prime Minister Michael Gunner launched his speech during a press conference this morning.(ABC News: Che Chorley)

A press conference turned into an enthusiastic performance

For a while now, Mister Gunner has been taking Larger And hotter Swipes against people – Including US Senator Those who do not support his government’s broad mandate to vaccinate or against anti-vaccination in general.

Today, Mr. Gunner took aim at the “crazy and dysfunctional stuff that goes around the internet” which he said “comes overwhelmingly from people who don’t live here and know nothing about us”.

“99.9 percent of the ‘BS’ flying online around the territory comes from lashes outside the territory – mostly from America, Canada and the UK,” he said.

He added, “People who have no better than making up lies about us, because their lives are so small and so sad.”

Mr Gunner said conspiracy theorists spreading bad faith online rumors would not divert attention from his efforts “to protect the oldest surviving living culture on the planet”.

“We don’t need to pay more attention to them,” he said. “We don’t need to listen to them.”

We have tens of thousands of years of history, traditions, customs and songs to survive

“And if anyone thinks we’d be distracted or intimidated by our tin hat and sitting in their parents’ basements in Florida, you don’t know us rich people.”

Rumors spread about the military’s involvement in remote communities

Mr. Gunner identified specific instances of misinformation in his speech.

However, it did highlight “ridiculous and untrue rumors about ADF involvement” during the current outbreak.

“As we all know, they don’t carry weapons. They carry fresh food for the people,” he said.

ADF personnel carrying drinks in boxes
ADF staff helped deliver food to people in the Katherine area.(ABC News: Jesse Thompson)

He also addressed what he called “a lot of nonsense” being posted online about the Howard Springs quarantine facility.

“As we all know, Howard Springs is a gold standard facility in Australia for COVID quarantine and care.

A woman wearing personal protective equipment and carrying a bag in the bush
Health workers were on the ground in closed communities delivering supplies.(Supplied: NT Health)

“Thousands and thousands of Australians stayed there, football stars and rappers stayed there,” said Mr Gunner.

“It’s the place where Olympic players are quarantined. It’s the best place in Australia, which is why it’s also used for our first Australians.”

Yesterday, the Indigenous health worker who contracted COVID-19 during the current Northern Territory outbreak, Luke Ellis, slammed Misinformation is spread online and in remote communities about the vaccine.

“To see a lot of bulls** being shared around you, especially by people who don’t like the aborigines all of a sudden [jumping] On the ‘genocide’ bandwagon when it suits them is unacceptable,” Mr Ellis wrote in a Twitter thread.

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“Indigenous peoples on Earth have constantly tried to raise awareness of the things that affect our people, including long-standing systemic racism. Trying to use us as props now is disgusting.”

While Mr. Ellis defended the government’s evacuation of positive cases and close acquaintances in remote communities, he said there were legitimate criticisms to be made about some aspects of the government’s response.

The government has been criticized for delays in ensuring access to testing for people at risk and poor living conditions that have made people more vulnerable to contracting the virus on arrival and made a severe lockdown more difficult.

What do people say on earth?

Yesterday, Indigenous communities under lockdown said misinformation being spread online about their conditions was hurting them.

“We are on lockdown as we are fighting the biggest battle of our lives,” a statement from the traditional owners through the Wurli Wurlinjang Aboriginal Health Service said.

“We do not appreciate outside people making incorrect comments.

“People on social media who say our people are being mistreated need to realize that their comments hurt the same people they claim to care about. We want people to respect our privacy and show respect for our feelings.”

Leading indigenous organizations in the Northern Territory, such as health groups and land councils, have supported the government’s handling of the outbreak and redoubled their efforts this week to combat vaccine hesitation.

However, their invitation, Repeat this week, for the planned resumption of quarantine-free travel to the Northern Territory that will be paused until areas with low immunization coverage are finally addressed, has so far been ignored.

At the weekend, the Northern Territory government presented its plan to end the quarantine of those coming from the red zones for COVID-19 on December 20.

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