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Ben Fordham has called for an end to the ‘alarmism’ around Covid and said Australians ‘can’t hide under the doona forever’.
The 2GB Radio host said the continual fear-mongering from parts of the community around the virus is unjustified when considering other causes of death in the country.
He said prioritising the pandemic over other health issues could see people failing to get regular check-ups, leading to early diagnosis of severe conditions, including cancer.
‘On the same day 17 people died of coronavirus in NSW, an estimated 136 Australians died from cancer alone. There are serious health issues being neglected,’ Fordham explained.
‘I’m not suggesting we don’t take it seriously, but let’s keep it in check, a disease with a death rate of 0.1 per cent. It is a challenging time, but it isn’t the end of the world.’
Ben Fordham has called for an end to the ‘alarmism’ around Covid and said Australians ‘can’t hide under the doona forever’
Causes of death in Australia – 2021
41,000 died from cancer
13,000 from dementia and alzheimers
11,600 from heart disease
7,000 from strokes and brain aneurisms
4,000 from diabetes
2,500 from suicide
1,800 from drug overdoses
2,000 from accidental falls
2,239 from Covid-19
Source: Australian Government Department of Health/2GB
Fordham said despite the slow vaccine rollout in Australia and mismanagement from the government, the country had experienced just the 99th most deaths in the world.
‘Last year, between January and October, 125,000 Australians passed away. Coronavirus accounted for just 1.3 per cent of deaths, about 1,600 in total,’ he said.
The radio star said people need to keep the Covid figures in check and that the chances of dying with the virus in Australia are extremely low.
‘Dr Angelique Coetzee, she described Omicron on day one as very mild with a low chance of hospitalisation. She was right. In NSW, your odds of dying from coronavirus is 0.1 per cent,’ he said.
‘Your odds of going to hospital are 0.8 per cent. The odds of ending up in intensive care are 0.05 per cent.’
Fordham said dying with Covid makes up a tiny fraction of Australia’s picture and urged people to have a look at the full picture of their health.
‘Some people want the goalposts moved even further, they want another year of lockdown. Well that’s up to them but I’m very keen to move on with their life,’ he said, referring to alarmists continuing to push fear around the virus.
‘Covid is going to be around, so we can’t hide under the doona forever. We’ve had two years of lockdowns and restrictions, at some point we need to take this thing head-on.’
However, while Fordham was quick to dismiss Covid fears, another broadcaster had a different view.
ABC journalist Norman Swan, who was formerly a physician, recently slammed Australian politicians for pushing what he deemed ‘two Omicron myths’ – that the strain is mild and that it can prevent reinfection.
Fordham said dying with Covid makes up a tiny fraction of Australia’s picture and urged people to have a look at the full picture of their health
Dr Swan said the new variant was not as mild as it was being made out to be, and that natural infection from Omicron does not provide as much protection as vaccination – meaning people can easily catch the virus again and still get ill.
‘There is this myth that this is a mild virus. You hear it all the time from politicians. It is not a mild virus,’ the doctor told the panel.
‘Now, Delta was a virulent virus, yes, it is less virulent than Delta, but if you compare it to the Wuhan virus, it is just as virulent as that. That’s why we’re seeing deaths.’
He explained natural infection from Omicron ‘does not seem to provide anything like what an immunisation gives’, and would give little protection against future variants.
Dr Swan told The Project that although it was an unpopular opinion, the world was far from pulling the curtain on the Covid-19 pandemic – and that Australia had been too slow to react, leaving it with no supplies of rapid tests.
Dr Norman Swan said the new variant was not as mild as it was being made out to be and that natural infection from Omicron does not provide as much protection as vaccination
He warned Australians not to celebrate as some politicians claim Covid will soon become endemic – meaning a virus that is relatively constant in a population, and has predictable infection patterns.
‘Smallpox was endemic. Nobody says that’s a mild disease. Malaria is endemic in many countries. ‘Influenza is endemic and it is not a harmless disease,’ he said.
‘Endemic does not mean it is harmless. This is an epidemic virus.’
He criticised politicians for simply ‘letting it rip’ and easing border controls and restrictions, saying it had actually hurt the economy by leading to thousands being stuck in isolation, as well as causing ‘unnecessary deaths’.
Instead the journalist said the country should have slowed things down in December to ensure hospitals were well-equipped for another variant.
Source: Daily Mail