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Ben Fordham slams ‘ABC bogeyman’ Norman Swan over latest Covid fearmongering ‘worst year’ claim

Popular radio host Ben Fordham has blasted ‘bogeyman’ Norman Swan for being a voice of doom as Aussies are learning to live with Covid.

Swan, who became a naysaying fixture on ABC platforms during the pandemic, said that 2022 is Australia’s ‘worst year’ of Covid on Tuesday.

Yet Fordham took issue with Swan’s remarks on Wednesday, saying he ‘wants to take us back to the bad old days’.

‘I think he must be bored,’ Fordham told his 2GB audience on Wednesday. ‘Because we have learned to live with the coronavirus, so he’s not as relevant as he used to be.’

Fordham said the ABC stalwart was suffering from ‘a chronic case of relevance deprivation syndrome’, before suggesting his ABC appearances may be starting to ‘dry up’.

‘We are trying to get on with our lives, after losing two years, and Dr Swan has come in off the long run -p and he’s bowled another frightening fear campaign about Covid,’ he commented.

Fordham is referring to an interview Swan did with the national broadcaster on Tuesday.

The ABC health commentator said the Covid death rate figure could grow to 13,000 in another 12 months, after 5,000 Australians died with the virus this year.

‘With these new subvariants coming out we’re increasing our vulnerability, lots of people are getting infected,’ he told ABC News Breakfast.

This is the worst year of the pandemic and nobody’s talking about it.’

Fordham said that Swan was ‘addicted to peddling fear’ after the doctor compared the low rate of Covid-related deaths in the country to ‘jet crashes’.

Fordham admitted there were ‘many deaths happening, everyone of them tragic’ with 285 over the past seven days, but said lockdowns can do damage too.

‘Does Dr Swan want us to follow China’s lead, and cage people inside their homes?’ Fordham asked.

Swan said on Tuesday the number of deaths was worrying, but downplayed ‘going back to lockdown’.

Former national deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said last month that the death rate in Australia was quite low, compared to the case numbers.

‘At the really pointy end, which I think is what we always have to bring it back to with the pandemic, is how much actual morbidity and mortality is this disease causing?’ he says.

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