Media outlets lap up controversial Australian MP’s tweet lauding Adityanath

They conveniently ignored Craig Kelly’s role in allegedly spreading Covid misinformation.

ByNL Team
Media outlets lap up controversial Australian MP’s tweet lauding Adityanath
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Several Indian media outlets wasted no time running stories about a tweet by Australian MP Craig Kelly lauding Uttar Pradesh for its “effective management in crushing the wave” and asking if India could loan the state’s chief minister, Adityanath, to Australia to release Ivermectin, a medicine traditionally used to treat parasites which has not been widely approved to treat Covid.

Republic, India TV, Zee News, Aaj Tak, Loksatta, Dainik Jagran, Amar Ujala, News 24, and OpIndia reported on the tweet, emphasising Kelly’s praise for Adityanath in the headline and the lede before getting to Ivermectin in later paragraphs.

This is not the first time Kelly has tweeted in praise of Adityanath government’s Covid strategy, but it has always been in relation to Ivermectin.

Moreover, the Indian media reports failed to mention that Kelly has been advocating against compulsory masking and is considered an anti-vaxxer. In April, Kelly was blocked from Facebook for spreading coronavirus misinformation.

Responding to Kelly, Adityanath’s office said they would be happy to host the Australian MP, and “share best practices which helped Uttar Pradesh fight the pandemic under the guidance of PM Modi and leadership of CM Adityanath”.

In a story titled “Australian MP impressed by UP govt’s handling of Covid asks India ‘can we loan Yogi?’, Republic noted that “the Uttar Pradesh government has time and again been appreciated for its work during the second wave”. In truth, Uttar Pradesh was among the worst-hit states during the second wave of the pandemic in India.

Indeed, the MP’s tweet came in response to a data analyst’s tweet claiming that though Maharashtra was “India’s pharma hub”, “Uttar Pradesh is the champion in using Ivermectin”. In May, the UP government claimed that it was the “first state to have introduced a large-scale prophylactic and therapeutic use of Ivermectin”, which it said helped the state maintain a “lower fatality and positivity rate as compared to other states”.

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