THURSDAY, APRIL 30
Long-serving Federal Labor MP Mike Kelly, 60, has ended months of speculation by making the “gut-wrenching” decision to quit Parliament.
The resignation will trigger a by-election in the New South Wales seat of Eden-Monaro.
Dr Kelly has undergone numerous medical procedures over the past six months to address damage to his renal system, caused by severe dehydration during military tours in Iraq, Somalia and East Timor.
“I don’t believe I can continue to do the job to the extent — and with the commitment and the physical demand — that I would want to,” Dr Kelly said.
“I would feel I was letting the community down if I wasn’t able to put that commitment in.
“This community deserves better than that, particularly now.”
Dr Kelly says he also wants to better support his wife Rachelle, who is also experiencing health issues.
The former army colonel, who was elected in 2007 to the then-bellwether seat, described the decision to stand down as “gut wrenching”.
“It has been the greatest privilege of my life to represent this community,” he said.
“To have to lay down that torch is very emotionally charged and distressing.”
Preliminary results from a US government trial into antiviral drug remdesivir show that patients recovered 31 per cent faster than those given a placebo.
Top US Health official Dr Anthony Fauci said the results were “highly significant” and the drug would become standard care for COVID-19 sufferers.
“This is really quite important,” Dr Fauci told reporters at the White House, likening it to a moment in 1986 “when we were struggling for drugs for HIV and we had nothing”.
The US Food and Drug Administration said it has been in discussions with manufacturer Gilead Sciences about making remdesivir available to patients as quickly as possible, but the agency declined to comment on any plans to grant the drug regulatory approval.
“I want them to go as quickly as they can,” President Donald Trump said, when asked if he wanted the FDA to grant emergency use authorisation for remdesivir.
“We want everything to be safe, but we would like to see very quick approvals, especially with things that work.”
In other COVID-19 news:
- An investigation into a coronavirus outbreak in Tasmania’s north-west has found it “most likely” originated from the Ruby Princess cruise ship. Releasing the findings this morning, Premier Peter Gutwein said “no passenger is to blame, and no healthcare worker is to blame.” Mr Gutwein released the findings as he revealed there had been a 12th coronavirus death in the state, an 86-year-old woman in the state’s north-west. Hs said one in 10 coronavirus cases in the country could be linked to the controversial cruise ship.
- The United Kingdom now has the second-worst death toll in Europe and third-worst in the world, after the British Government began including deaths from outside hospitals in its daily fatality figures. Britain now stands behind only the United States and Italy in total deaths from COVID-19, after it was revealed the total stood at 26,097 — a rise from the previous day’s hospital-only figure of 21,678.
- Comparatively, the US has lost nearly 60,000 people due to coronavirus while Italy’s death toll stands at just over 27,000.
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