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Labor divided as federal MPs reject Annastacia Palaszczuk’s rogue Covid claims

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Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk

Federal Labor has distanced itself from Annastacia Palaszczuk’s rogue state that children under 12 must be vaccinated before opening its border.

In the Queensland Parliament on Wednesday, the Prime Minister claimed that children under 12 were “the most vulnerable” and said she would “stand strong” on the borders “until I can get answers” about how unvaccinated children would be affected by an outbreak.

Its own health department says ‘serious illnesses remain extremely rare in children’ and Australia’s top doctors say children under 12 don’t need to be vaccinated before the country can open.

Federal Labor deputy leader Richard Marles rejected Ms Palaszczuk’s comments and supported the national plan to ease restrictions once 70 percent is poked.

“I would distance myself from Annastacia’s comments, is the honest answer to that question,” he told the Today Show on Friday.

‘We have to follow the health advice when it comes to the impact and who to vaccinate when.

“We don’t want to be in lockdown for an extra day.

“But eventually you understand why states that don’t have Covid want to stay in that situation.”

Queensland resists calls from the federal government to open the state border when enough people have been vaccinated and wants to keep Covid out.

Deputy Prime Minister Steven Miles said Queensland would no longer need such severe restrictions if 80 percent were vaccinated, but said the number of cases would also influence decision-making about lowering the border.

“Certainly at 80 per cent we need fewer restrictions, but … we have to make decisions based on the situation in NSW, the relative situation here in Queensland, the vaccination coverage at both sites and the effectiveness of our other public health measures,” he said. Friday morning to ABC radio.

Sydney residents (pictured) banned from entering Queensland under Prime Minister's border ban

Sydney residents (pictured) banned from entering Queensland under Prime Minister’s border ban

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt reprimanded Palaszczuk on Thursday, saying: nowhere in the world were vaccinations approved for children under the age of 12.

In fact, I think the best response in a sense is what was written by Queensland Health in their ”Covid-19 and Kids: What you need to Know” paper of 5 August 2021: Serious illness remains extremely rare in children’ Hunt told reporters.

I also quote: ”Even children with serious underlying conditions will usually only experience mild illness with Covid-19”.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg agreed, claiming that Ms Palaszczuk’s reasoning for keeping the border closed was a “desperate denial of reality… not based on medical advice.”

The Queensland Premier has indicated she could delay easing restrictions once COVID-19 vaccination coverage targets are met due to her new concerns about unvaccinated children (families and friends catch up at the border, above)

The Queensland Premier has indicated she could delay easing restrictions once COVID-19 vaccination coverage targets are met due to her new concerns about unvaccinated children (families and friends catch up at the border, above)

Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly also shut down Ms Palaszczuk’s controversial claims to children.

He said there have been 3,815 cases of Delta virus infection in children under the age of 12, but only 134 hospital admissions, a 3.5 percent hospitalization rate.

“And we know from data from New South Wales that most children who are hospitalized are for social reasons, not because they are particularly unwell – their parents are sick and unable to care for them,” he said.

“So the number of hospitalizations is small and most of them are not because of serious illness. Only three children under the age of 12 have been admitted to intensive care. Three in 3,815, much less than one in 1,000.’

Professor Kelly said there have been no child deaths in Australia and said the best way to protect children was for adults to be stung.

“We don’t ignore children. Children are part of the whole plan, not only in the vaccination and soon the vaccination of 12 to 15 year olds, but also in the way we look at that cocoon effect that we can get from vaccination as it increases and the is now growing at an incredible rate across Australia.”

He added: ‘We have to start learning to live with this virus.’

The Queensland Prime Minister was also outraged by false claims that more than 2,000 people would die in a month of opening.

On Thursday morning, she tweeted that “80 people will die every day” if the state follows the NSW model of living with Covid with high vaccination coverage.

“That’s 2240 who will die every month,” she claimed.

Families are forced to congregate over plastic barricades on the Queensland-NSW border due to Annastacia Palaszuck's rules (above)

Families are forced to congregate over plastic barricades on the Queensland-NSW border due to Annastacia Palaszuck’s rules (above)

Ms Palaszczuk’s math was misleading because the daily death rate is a worst-case scenario modeled by the Doherty Institute based on a 70 percent vaccination rate and the effectiveness of partial contact tracing.

Ms Palaszczuk pulled the figure from a graph in the Doherty modeling that said that with 70 percent vaccinated and partial contact tracing, the daily number of deaths would peak at 80 after six months.

She then assumed that there would be 80 deaths per day for an entire month, when in fact this scenario is highly unlikely as the vaccination rate would not remain at 70 percent.

There is nowhere in the Doherty modeling that predicts 2240 deaths per month.

The modeling says that if optimal testing and tracing is maintained, there would be just 88 Covid hospitalizations nationwide, 21 ICU admissions and 13 deaths nationwide in the six months after the 70 percent shot rate is reached.

Ms Palaszczuk tweeted that '80 people will die every day' if the state follows the NSW model of living with Covid.  Her claim has been discontinued

Ms Palaszczuk tweeted that ’80 people will die every day’ if the state follows the NSW model of living with Covid. Her claim has been discontinued

Ms Palaszczuk came under fire from Greg Hunt (pictured Thursday) for voicing unfounded fears about children

Ms Palaszczuk came under fire from Greg Hunt (pictured Thursday) for voicing unfounded fears about children

Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt criticized Ms Palaszczuk, saying she was trying to scare the public for her own political gain.

“Selectively abusing Doherty’s modeling violates good faith and undermines public confidence,” he said Thursday afternoon.

Mr Hunt also ripped in Prime Minister Palaszczuk for banning residents from returning from Covid-ravaged NSW.

The move has separated a three-year-old boy, Memphis, from his parents north of the border for two months – and people have been stopped from entering Queensland for health care.

“This is a deep moral failure. Let these people in for medical treatment and for a three-year-old to be fully reunited with their families,” Mr Hunt said.

It comes as the federal government is urging prime ministers to abide by the national reopening plan that will ease restrictions in two phases when 70 and 80 percent of people over 16 are vaccinated.

The plan states that Australia will stop suppressing Covid cases when 70 percent are vaccinated and instead learn to live with the virus.

Western Australia, Queensland and the ACT have moved away from the plan by either vowing to continue to suppress cases or urging children to be vaccinated.

Some states threaten to keep their borders closed or demand higher jab rates before lifting lockdowns, raising prospects that Australia will remain a divided country for months to come

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