Prof Murphy's words have been misrepresented across social media.
Professor Brendan Murphy's words have been misrepresented in the post. Image by Mick Tsikas/AAP PHOTOS

Triple-whammy of falsehoods in vaccine ‘cover-up’ post

Meg Williams June 12, 2023

A government health boss used a secret senate meeting to urge politicians not to reveal a vaccine effects cover-up.


False. There was no mention of any vaccine effects cover-up at the public senate committee meeting.

A social media post claims to show a secret meeting in which the boss of Australia’s drugs regulator supposedly instructs politicians to keep quiet about a COVID-19 vaccine injury cover-up.

The claim is false on multiple accounts. The man in question is not, and has never been, the head of the drugs regulator. The meeting was an open senate select committee that was broadcast online and he was not urging anyone to cover up vaccine side effects.

The video was posted to Rumble in 2022 but was reshared (archived) recently by the Stop the Rot Sack the Lot Facebook page, which is known for spreading misinformation.

The video is titled: “Secret video of Australian senate meeting with head of TGA Brendan Murphy.” 

“Secret video of senate meeting with head of TGA Brendan Murphy telling Parliament to not tell the public of their own vaccine effects coverup and that the vaccine kills people and they have no recourse from it because the government granted big pharma immunity from prosecution and compensation payouts!” the caption says.

Secret senate meeting debunked
 The Rumble video has been viewed nearly half a million times. 

The meeting was not secret. It was a public hearing of the Senate Select Committee on COVID-19 on April 27, 2021. 

A full video recording of that meeting is publicly available here on the Australian Parliament website. The Rumble clip has been taken from approximately video mark 19:57:24. 

A full transcript of that Senate committee hearing is also publicly available here in Hansard. 

The title and caption falsely claim the man in the video, Professor Brendan Murphy, is or was the head of the medicines regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

At the time, Prof Murphy was the Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care, a position he’s held for three years since July 2020. He has never been the head of the TGA.

The post also mischaracterises what Prof Murphy said, claiming he told politicians not to inform the public about a supposed cover-up of vaccine effects.

In fact, the video shows Senator Jacqui Lambie asking Prof Murphy about the government’s compensation scheme for people who have adverse reactions from the COVID-19 vaccines (from video mark 19 seconds).

The caption also misrepresents Jacqui Lambie's line of questioning.
 The caption also misrepresents Senator Jacqui Lambie’s line of questioning. 

As is clear from the Rumble clip, the original video, and the Hansard transcript, the Senator’s questions had nothing to do with what was claimed: an alleged government cover-up of vaccine side effects.

Arguing that the compensation system was inadequate at the time, the senator asked if the lack of a compensation scheme might contribute to vaccine hesitancy. 

“Trust me, Dr Murphy,” Senator Lambie says, “as a senator, I’m saying, You’re not going to be compensated. I’m making that very clear to people out there… How do you think the government is going to go by us telling the truth out there to the people, saying, ‘You know what? If something goes wrong, you’re stuffed, because your government isn’t going to look after you and you’re not getting compensation’?”

“I would hope you wouldn’t say to the public that if something goes wrong they’re stuffed. That would not be good for…” Prof Murphy replied, before being cut off by Senator Lambie.

When the committee hearing occurred, the government hadn’t introduced a no-fault compensation scheme for serious adverse reactions to COVID-19 vaccines. 

Senator Lambie’s questioning reflected the opinions of others at the time (see here and here) who believed Australia needed to adopt a no-fault vaccine injury compensation scheme. 

Since then, a compensation scheme has been established.

The Verdict

The claim that a government health boss used a secret senate meeting to urge politicians not to reveal a vaccine effects cover-up is false. 

The meeting was not held in secret, the man in question was not the head of the TGA and there was no plea to hush up any supposed vaccine cover-ups.

False – The claim is inaccurate.

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