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Dr Monique Ryan scolds Coalition MPs for not wearing masks in public

Doctor turned carbon neutral warrior who defeated Josh Frydenberg, criticizes coalition MPs for not wearing masks in parliament – as she claims Covid will lead to ‘burden of disability and illness’

A doctor who kicked Josh Frydenberg out of politics has berated the vast majority of opposition MPs for not carrying requests in parliament.

Monique Ryan defeated the former treasurer in the seat of Kooyong, in south-east Melbourne, in the May 21 election as one of seven ‘blue-green’ independents.

As a former pediatric neurologist, she asked Health Minister Mark Butler in Question Time what the government was going to do about the long-standing Covid in Australia.

But Ms Ryan’s warning of an ‘incoming national significant burden of disability and chronic illness’ from long Covid drew derision from coalition MPs.

Monique Ryan, a pediatric neurologist turned 'blue-green' independent MP, pointed to the opposition benches and shouted 'put your masks on!'  when she was heckled

Monique Ryan, a pediatric neurologist turned ‘blue-green’ independent MP, pointed to the opposition benches and shouted ‘put your masks on!’ when she was heckled

As the bickering grew louder, Ms Ryan stopped to point to the opposition benches and yelled ‘put your masks on!’

This only led to more booing from the opposition, only seven of whom wore masks while all of Labour wore them.

Ms. Ryan gave the hackers a deadly look and finished her question with a short pause.

“Covid-19 infections in this country are at an all-time high and increasing, can the minister please explain how he proposes to manage the coming national significant burden of disability and chronic illness from repeated infection,” she said.

The large gap between the Coalition and Labor – and most of the crossbench – in mask-wearing was a frequent distraction in Parliament’s first few days.

All 77 Labor MPs and 26 Senators have worn masks indoors since their first cabinet and caucus meetings a week ago, and in every session of Parliament.

Health Minister Mark Butler (center) was asked in question time what the government was going to do about long Covid in Australia

Health Minister Mark Butler (center) was asked in question time what the government was going to do about long Covid in Australia

Mr. Albanian often takes off his mask while sitting in his seat at the middle table, as he has social distancing from the rest of the House of Representatives.

By contrast, only a few masks are worn by coalition members, although that number has increased slightly over the past week

Michael McCormack, Karen Andrews, Angie Bell, Andrew Gee, Andrew Wallace, Mark Coluton, Rowan Ramsey and Darren Chester wore them during Monday’s Question Time.

The Prime Minister has strongly supported recommendations from health officials that Australians should wear masks indoors in winter.

Covid cases rose to one of the highest levels in the pandemic in recent weeks, with 45,242 reported Friday, with an estimated 369,850 active infections.

More to come.

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