Pete Evans’ 90-minute chat with rogue MP
Celebrity chef turned-COVID-19 conspiracy theorist Pete Evans has labelled Craig Kelly "a beautiful and beyond courageous man" in a social media post promoting a podcast interview with the rogue MP.
Mr Evans announced the pair had held a 90-minute conversation for a "podcast launching tomorrow" in an Instagram post on Monday evening.
It comes after Evans' podcast channel was dumped from Spotify in January for spreading "dangerous, false, deceptive, or misleading content about COVID-19".
Like Evans, Mr Kelly has sparked outrage by routinely peddling COVID-19 misinformation online.
"Just spent a great 90 minutes talking with this beautiful and courageous man," Mr Evans wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of the MP giving the thumbs up.
"Craig Kelly MP is sharing the truth over and over again and keeps moving forward without fear.
"You my friend are a hero to many Australians and I look forward to sharing a meal with you....perhaps in Canberra in the not too distant future."
NCA NewsWire has contacted Mr Kelly for comment.
Mr Kelly has touted hydroxychloroquine as a COVID-19 treatment, despite the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) "strongly discouraging" its use on patients.
Mr Kelly has also questioned the effectiveness of masks and likened them being mandated in schools to child abuse.
He also cited on his Facebook page an American anti-vax doctor, who later admitted to taking part in an insurrection at the Washington Capitol in January.
The interview comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday urged Aussies to ignore Facebook when seeking out COVID-19 information, but insisted Mr Kelly was doing "a great job".
The PM was addressing the National Press Club, where he refused to condemn the backbencher's online behaviour.
Mr Morrison was pressed on whether a government-funded $24m vaccine information campaign was a waste of taxpayer money if Mr Kelly undermined it online.
"He's not my doctor and he's not yours, but he does a great job in Hughes," Mr Morrison said.
But the Prime Minister instead urged Australians to seek information from trusted sources.
"We've been very clear to point out where you get your information from. You don't get it from Facebook, you get it from official government websites, and that's what I encourage everyone to do," he said.
"Don't go to Facebook to find out about the vaccine, go to official government websites."
Australia's vaccination program set to begin this month after the Therapeutic Goods Administration granted approval to the Pfizer jab.
New Labor health spokesman Mark Butler said Mr Kelly's "fear mongering" was undermining the TGA's work.
"It is beyond time that Scott Morrison found the backbone to pull Craig Kelly into line," he said on Monday.
Liberal MP Katie Allen, a former doctor, said a consistent message was vital to ensuring Australians knew they were in "safe and certain hands".
"My message is: please, we need to be all on the same page particularly with regards to this vaccine rollout,' she told the ABC on Monday.
But when asked whether Mr Kelly specifically needed to be reigned in, Ms Allen said she did not follow individual MPs' pages.
"I don't follow him on Facebook. What I do is speak to my colleagues about what I think is the right evidence-based expert informed approach," she said.
Originally published as Pete Evans' 90-minute chat with rogue MP