Clive Palmer, Leading Anti-Vaxxer

Clive Palmer is at it again, with his widely debunked anti-vaccination flyers popping up in far-flung locations across NSW. The flyers appeared in letterboxes and even Aldi catalogues, to the chagrin of the supermarket chain.

Palmer has been busy on the anti-vaxx front. In June, he funded a similar radio ad campaign in Queensland, featuring the words, “Australia has had one Covid-19 associated death in 2021. But the TGA reports that there’s been 210 deaths and over 24,000 adverse reactions after covid vaccinations. Authorised by Clive Palmer, Brisbane.”

This is tremendously misleading. Those 210 deaths include any and all deaths among over 4 million Australians in the weeks after they received a Covid-19 vaccine. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) reports that, statistically speaking, people are less likely to die in the weeks following a Covid-19 vaccine than at other times, presumably due to it imbuing vaccine recipients with a sense of progress and positivity in these dire times.

Yet it’s the boldness of Palmer’s claim that makes it persuasive, as it’s difficult for people to imagine that such a baldly misleading claim could be broadcast. A series of anti-vaxx newspaper ads planned for Western Australian newspapers were pulled by an industry self-regulation body, but there is apparently nothing legal that can be done as far as public authorities are concerned.

In his efforts, the billionaire mining magnate and leader of the “United Australia” Party is regurgitating anti-vaxx campaigns started in the US. A video first played on Fox News and widely shared on social media alleged 5,000 deaths caused by Covid-19 vaccines, when those deaths were, again, any and all deaths in the weeks following vaccination.

A viral video propagating the bogus “vaccine deaths” claim.

Like Pauline Hanson before him, we can at least be glad that Palmer is an unoriginal and unappealing front for his noxious ideas.

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