PM won't censure Craig Kelly over his hydroxychloroquine comments

Hughes MP Craig Kelly.

Hughes MP Craig Kelly.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has refused to censure Hughes MP Craig Kelly after he questioned whether Daniel Andrews could be criminally liable for blocking the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.

Kelly posted on social media, the Victorian premier "and others" could be liable for industrial manslaughter "for continuing to ban hydroxychloroquine."

"There is a special place in hell awaiting those that have been part of the war on hydroxychloroquine for poltical [sic] reasons. They have the blood of tens of thousands on their hands," Mr Kelly said via a social media post.

His opinion disregards evidence that the drug is not a cure for COVID-19.

Most reputable studies have found the drug is ineffective as a treatment, and it can have severe and even deadly side effects if misused.

Scott Morrison refused to be drawn on his fellow Liberal Party MPs comments, telling reporters in Canberra he would not "get onto what people talk about on Facebook."

Acting chief medical officer Paul Kelly said: "in terms of its use for COVID - 19 the jury is pretty much out, it doesn't work".

In March the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia and the Australasian Society for Infectious Diseases called for an immediate cessation of prescribing and dispensing of hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID outside clinical trials.

It cited the lack of evidence of clinical benefit and shortages for patients with rheumatological conditions.

The shadow health minister, Chris Bowen, tweeted a response to Kelly's posts, calling them "offensive and dangerous".

"Suffice it to say there is one body which determines drug safety and efficacy and it's the [Therapeutic Goods Administration]," he said. "Trumpian rants by Liberal MPs have no place in fighting this pandemic."

The prime minister's office was contacted for further comment but did not respond.

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