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‘That’s not true’: Clive Palmer in fiery clash at National Press Club

Clive Palmer has been challenged over spreading wild Covid-19 conspiracy theories during a heated clash at the National Press Club.

Mr Palmer, who delivered a speech outlining the United Australian Party’s economic policies in the lead up to the upcoming election, began by describing his recent Covid-19 diagnosis.

Mr Palmer, who has profiled his unvaccinated status, was due to give the speech last month, but was admitted to hospital with the virus.

In his address on Thursday, the mining magnate said he was given a lifesaving “cocktail of drugs” and called on health officials to green-light a “widely available treatment” to fight the pandemic, while questioning the efficacy of vaccines.

CLIVE PALMER NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
Camera IconClive Palmer spoke at the National Press Club on Thursday, in which his Covid-19 misinformation was questioned. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

His discussion on Covid-19 vaccines and treatments was called into question by Sky News anchor and address moderator Tom Connell.

Connell asked Mr Palmer whether he thought he would get more airtime about his political and economic policies if he stopped spreading misinformation.

“Do you regret any messages you put out earlier during the pandemic?” Connell asked.

“Not really. They’ve been proven to be true,” Mr Palmer responded.

Connell went on to ask about the thousands of dollars he had poured into prominent ads suggesting the Covid-19 vaccine was responsible for 210 deaths and asked “when will they stop”.

“Only 11 deaths were from the vaccine (after a first dose of AstraZeneca). Isn’t it important to get that right?” Connell said.

Mr Palmer responded: “That is wrong. Today it’s over 1222 deaths, which are reported deaths on the TGA”.

CLIVE PALMER NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
Camera IconMr Palmer was supposed to address the press club last month, but it was postponed due to a Covid-19 diagnosis. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

While Connell attempted to question his reading of the TGA website, seeking to differentiate deaths “from” rather than “deaths after” Mr Palmer continued: “There’s not a death from vaccines unless you’ve been fully vaccinated”.

Connell responded: “That’s not true.”

Mr Palmer kept trying: “I’ve got personal knowledge of people that have had the vaccine and died within a couple of days”.

“I don’t want to hear the anecdotal. But you can see you use quotes from the TGA,” Connell said.

“Because at that time on that position, there was 210 reported deaths on the TGA after a vaccine … but at the same time the TGA only had carried out three or four autopsies,” Mr Palmer responded.

“If you look at the data in the United States, you’ll see it runs to the thousands and same for the UK.”

Connell once again pushed for contextual understanding, saying there was a difference between counting deaths of people who had died from the vaccine, and people who had died after being vaccinated.

CLIVE PALMER NATIONAL PRESS CLUB
Camera IconCraig Kelly watched on in support. NCA NewsWire / Gary Ramage Credit: News Corp Australia

Later in the hour, Mr Palmer was asked how he responded to claims he was “dangerous to health” over his spread of misinformation.

“Medical doctors have come out against the advertisement, there’s been widespread concern from the medical community,” a reporter asked him.

Mr Palmer responded by saying he had been contacted by doctors who had told him he was worthy of being saved because he was “the only person telling the truth” about drugs like hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin.

“There’s difference within the medical opinion. There’s over 100 doctors in Australia that have been struck off and not able to practice medicine in this country because they’ve advised patients not to get vaccinated,” Mr Palmer said.

Connell interrupted, saying the latest figure was in fact 61 doctors – well before the pandemic began – of which only two had been found to falsify vaccination forms.

“That’s as close as you get to what you were saying,” Connell said.

Mr Palmer responded by saying the media should “report the views from both sides” and allow the public to make a decision “based on the facts”.

Elsewhere in his wide-ranging national address, Mr Palmer said the UAP would be preferencing Greens over the Liberals and Labor, and he was confident his party would pick up a number of seats.

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