A flyer promoting COVID-19 conspiracy theories has hit Tasmanian letter boxes, the Tasmanian Greens say.
Greens Franklin member Dr Rosalie Woodruff said the “expensive” flyer promoted incorrect and potentially dangerous medical advice.
The flyer highlighted the need, she said, for a Tasmanian Government strategy to deal with coronavirus misinformation.
“The flyers, which peddle a range of falsehoods, were distributed by the ‘New Federal State of China’, which is funded by the US Steve Bannon War Room, amongst others,” Dr Woodruff said.
“They look to be part of a well-financed concerted campaign of distortions and lies.
“With the COVID-19 pandemic far from over, community confidence in public health advice, and vigilance in prevention practices, is critical.”
Dr Woodruff, herself an epidemiologist, says Tasmanians need to be able to trust health advice and to get tested for coronavirus symptoms.
“This flyer is the worst seen so far in Tasmania, but other misinformation has been circulating in the community with increasing frequency,” she said.
“There’s a delicate balance between giving oxygen to an inaccurate message, and allowing it to spread in the community unchecked.”
Dr Woodruff urged the government to have a strategy to target misinformation, rather than dealing with matters in an ad-hoc way.”
“To keep Tasmanians safe, and to give them peace of mind, we urge the Gutwein Government to tackle the issue of coronavirus misinformation head on,” she said.