Backlash over star’s vaccination stance
Former Home And Away actress Isabel Lucas has swiftly parted ways with a charity she partnered with just weeks ago, amid a backlash over her views on vaccination.
Lucas, 35, had been promoting alternative medicines as a treatment to the deadly coronavirus, and said she didn't "trust the path" of vaccination.
Lucas had been announced as a new Ambassador for Girls' Rights for charity Plan International Australia less than a month ago, but in the wake of her comments, the charity said they were "aware of the issue" and had come to an agreement with Lucas to "end the partnership".
Hi @brenwickham, we are aware of the issue and as of today, Ms Lucas and Plan International Australia have come to an agreement to end the ambassadorship.— Plan International Australia (@PlanAustralia) April 15, 2020
Announcing the partnership on March 27, Lucas said teaming with Plan International was "important" to her.
"As we head into an uncertain future and particularly as COVID-19 is starting to impact the countries where Plan International works, it's more important than ever before to support the work, particularly protecting girls in crisis and facilitating hygiene kits for families," she said in a statement.
"It inspires me that Plan International empowers girls to speak up and to know their rights and that they work with girls at different stages: from girlhood, to adulthood."
Lucas, who regularly posts 5G radiation conspiracy theories to her 190,000 Instagram followers, today released a clarification about her anti-vaccination comments as the story was picked up by several outlets.
"I'd like to clarify a misunderstanding that the media recently reported on my behalf. I have concerns around 'mandatory' vaccination, not vaccination itself.
"Moving forward, I'd like to welcome and invite cohesive, clear and calm communication around 'mandatory' vaccines, ethical vaccine testing and how to support every human being to have the right to freedom of choice. Thank you."
Lucas isn't the only Aussie celeb copping a backlash for their unorthodox health views as Australia grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.
A $15,000 device that controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans has spruiked is now under investigation.
Evans claimed the light frequency machine can fight the deadly coronavirus.
He plugged the product - The "BioCharger" - to his Facebook followers, claiming it could treat a range of ailments, including COVID-19.
He described the product, which is listed for sale on his website, as a "pretty amazing tool" which he and his family "use pretty much every day".
However his post, which quickly went viral as people rushed to label the device "ridiculous", caught the attention of The Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration which has confirmed to news.com.au is "investigating the product and is monitoring coronavirus-related claims closely".
Lucas had made her public admission she didn't "trust the path of vaccines" in a response to an Instagram post by Evans. Pro surfer Taj Burrows courted controversy in the same post, writing that vaccines are "not needed, just a good immune system".
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least 10 million deaths were prevented between 2010 and 2015 thanks to vaccinations delivered around the world, with many millions more protected from illness and disability.