Dr Norman Swan has been forced to issue a grovelling apology after falsely linking the death of Senator Kimberley Kitching – and Shane Warne’s – to Covid.
The ABC’s health expert Dr Norman Swan has been forced to issue a grovelling apology after falsely linking the death of the late Senator Kimberley Kitching – and Shane Warne’s – to Covid-19.
Senator Kitching died on March 10 from a suspected heart attack at the age of 52. She was being treated for a thyroid condition that was contributing to heart problems.
Speaking on ABC News on Tuesday morning, Dr Swan said that it was “too much of a coincidence” that they died from heart attacks after contracting Covid.
“It’s too much of a coincidence that Shane Warne and the Labor Senator in Victoria died not long after a Covid infection, and people are reporting sudden death after Covid infection. It’s not benign,” he said
However, Senator Kitching did not contract Covid before her death and had not tested positive previously.
Dr Norman Swan has apologised for linking the death of Kimberley Kitching to Covid
“I’ve personally apologised to Andrew her husband,” Dr Swan told news.com.au.
“I’ve clearly made an error which I deeply regret. I do recall such reports and have checked with others who did too but that doesn’t excuse my having upset the family.”
News.com.au is not aware of any previous reports that Senator Kitching had Covid and nor is her family.
Warne’s death from a heart attack – also at the age of 52 – has not officially been linked to Covid either.
Kimberley Kitching with her husband Andrew Landeryou.
Earlier, Dr Swan told Daily Mail Australia that cricket legend Warne had “lots of risk factors for heart disease, but if he was going to get a bit of extra inflammation from Covid, that could have tipped him over the edge”.
“These are two high-profile people,” Dr Swan added. “One of whose death was a complete surprise, and they both had Covid in the background.”
Dr Swan pointed to a study by the Universities of Bristol, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Swansea – that the pandemic may have led to an additional 10,500 cases of heart attacks, strokes and other blood clot complications such as deep vein thrombosis in England and Wales alone.
In the first week after a Covid diagnosis, people were 21 times more likely to have a heart attack or stroke, conditions which are mainly caused by blood clots blocking arteries. This dropped to 3.9 times more likely after 4 weeks, the study of 48 million unvaccinated patients found.
Warne was briefly put on a ventilator during his Covid battle.
But he said it was a trial treatment rather than requiring a ventilator to breathe.
“It wasn’t because I could not breathe, or anything like that, it was basically a special ventilator that I was trialling to make sure there were no longer-lasting effects that Covid would have on me,” he said.
“I have been fine, I have been able to run, I have been able to do everything. I have been absolutely fine.
“It was a bit like a hangover, I had a pounding headache. The first couple of days, when I tested positive, I just had a thumping headache and I had one day where I had the shivers, but (was) sweating, like when you have the flu,” Warne told The Herald Sun.
“I lost a bit of sense of taste for a few days, but after three or four days I was fine. I have apparently got the holy grail. I have been double vaccinated and I have had Covid, so I am meant to be absolutely fine now.”