Dr Nick Coatsworth (pictured), Australia's former deputy chief medical officer, had a long difference of opinion with fellow doctor Dr Norman Swan

Doctors Nick Coatsworth and Norman Swan are waging war to claim Covid death toll as a ‘plane crash every week’

Two of Australia’s best-known doctors have renewed their long-term animosity with opposing views on how to describe Australia Covid-19 number of deaths.

ABC presenter Dr Norman Swan said Covid deaths amounted to “plane crashes every week”, which, with around 300 deaths a week, seems a reasonable comparison.

But Dr Nick Coatsworth, Australia’s former deputy health director, said that was not accurate because Covid deaths disproportionately involve older people.

“A plane crash has anywhere between babies and people at the end of life and everything in between,” Dr Coatsworth said.

Dr Nick Coatsworth (pictured), Australia’s former deputy chief medical officer, had a long difference of opinion with fellow doctor Dr Norman Swan

“So it’s not a reasonable analogy to draw when we’re largely talking about very frail elderly people, who are very susceptible to succumbing to infection whether there’s a pandemic or not.”

Ben Fordham of Radio 2GB called Dr Swan a ‘fearmonger’ and a ‘Covid bogeyman’ for his comments about the plane crash, to which he replied: ‘I don’t care what people call me , I just care that lives are saved.”

Disagreements between Dr Coatsworth and Dr Swan over how to deal with Covid go back almost as far as the pandemic itself.

Last week, Dr Coatsworth brushed off those who continue to demand more Covid rules – and says tough restrictions have done many people more harm than good.

“We locked down our society, kept children out of school, closed playgrounds, fined the less fortunate, separated families, created mental illness, all in the name of protecting our most vulnerable, but for some that will never be enough.

“When will moralizing stop? he wrote.

Dr Coatsworth’s views are very different from those of some more risk-averse commentators such as Dr Swan and former Australian Medical Association president Kerryn Phelps, who favor the restrictions.

“The problem is that this group is loud and influential,” he said. ‘It’s really a bit exhausting.

ABC presenter Dr Norman Swan (pictured) is risk averse when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic

ABC presenter Dr Norman Swan (pictured) is risk averse when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic

“I thought it would all be done and dusted off now – not the pandemic – but this bloody argument.

“It’s also bad for bettors. No one wants to see dueling experts, but you have a choice. Do you shut up and let them drive the narrative?

Last February, Dr Coatsworth told 2GB that restriction advocates such as Dr Swan and Dr Phelps needed to recognize that Australian policies should be designed to protect vulnerable people now that most of the country has been vaccinated. .

“I think maybe they have this idea that it’s dangerous to say, ‘It doesn’t matter if someone dies with co-morbidities or if they were old.’

“Well, that’s not what anyone is saying. People say there are vulnerable people in our society, there always have been, there always will be, so the social safety net for them is not mass community restrictions two years into a pandemic,’ he said.

A young woman is pictured receiving the Pfizer vaccine at the Royal Exhibition Building Vaccination Center in Melbourne on August 25, 2021

A young woman is pictured receiving the Pfizer vaccine at the Royal Exhibition Building Vaccination Center in Melbourne on August 25, 2021

Dr Coatsworth said the community-wide restrictions were not fair to the rest of the community, which is already protected by a robust healthcare system alongside mass vaccination.

‘We have that, and so vulnerable people are protected and so we can move forward with that, so I think people like (Dr Swan and Dr Phelps) need to change their perspective and move with the times,’ did he declare. .

In August 2021, Dr Coatsworth slammed Dr Swan for not ‘reporting accurately’ on Covid after he compared Sydneysiders queuing for a vaccination to ‘guinea pigs’.

Asked about their dispute, Dr Swan said he thought Dr Coatsworth was ‘angry’ with him for criticizing government medical experts who originally thought Covid was mainly spread via respiratory droplets rather than in the air.

A car patient is pictured getting a Covid-19 shot in Melton, Victoria on Sunday August 8, 2021

A car patient is pictured getting a Covid-19 shot in Melton, Victoria on Sunday August 8, 2021

“I think he’s mad at me,” Dr Swan said. The Australian at the time.

“I think it annoys him that I spoke out against the view that prevailed in government for much of 2020 that airborne spread was not important.”

“I am not annoyed with Norman Swan, but in my opinion he failed to recognize and accurately report the evolution of government policy, which recognized a greater role for airborne transmission,” Dr. Coatsworth.

He also attacked Dr Swan’s “guinea pig” comment, saying ABC had a responsibility to “report as accurately as possible during a disaster”.

“Calling Greater Sydney’s entire population of guinea pigs doesn’t fall into that category,” he said.

Dr Nick Coatsworth (pictured left) has long called for Covid restrictions to be lifted when they stop working

Dr Nick Coatsworth (pictured left) has long called for Covid restrictions to be lifted when they stop working

When Dr Swan made his ‘guinea pig’ comment, he was not claiming that the vaccines were experimental – only that the government’s strategy of using vaccination to control the outbreak had been untested.

“I don’t think it’s been tried anywhere else in the world where you’re trying to use vaccination to curve an epidemic,” he said.

“And in a sense, the people of New South Wales, or Greater Sydney, are guinea pigs.”

But Dr Coatsworth said vaccines are used to stop epidemics around the world – and even pointed to his own field experience in Africa.

The Sydneysiders are pictured exercising in Bondi as Covid-19 restrictions were eased in September last year

The Sydneysiders are pictured exercising in Bondi as Covid-19 restrictions were eased in September last year

“No, Doctor Swan, they are not guinea pigs. I vaccinated during measles in Chad in 2005,” he wrote in a response on Twitter.

“Rapid vaccination during an epidemic is part of epidemic control. And that’s what every other country has done with Covid-19. Restrictions and rapid vaccines work.

The battle between Doctors Swan and Coatsworth doesn’t seem to be over anytime soon.

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