Controversial celebrity chef Pete Evans has taken a swipe at former MasterChef judge Matt Preston for urging Australians to be COVID-19 safe and wear a mask.
The former My Kitchen Rules judge slammed a Victorian government advertisement showing Matt Preston dining at a closed restaurant, urging Victorians to wear a mask to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In his Instagram post, Evans said the ad is “demeaning and disgraceful” and wearing a mask does “f**k all” to prevent the spread of the virus.
“This ad has only enabled the govt to extend its lockdown in Victoria by spreading misinformation,” he said.
“I would have hoped that the people that appeared in these ads would have explored the science that pertains to wearing a mask.”
Evans’ view is not shared by the majority of Australia’s medical bodies, which claim wearing a mask does help prevent the spread of the virus.
His latest anti-lockdown tirade comes after he shared an interview with a prominent US anti-vaxxer, who likened the pressure to wear a mask during the coronavirus pandemic to “psychological warfare” akin to children spying on their parents in Nazi Germany.
Evans posted the chat with Sherri Tenpenny to his 271,000 followers on Instagram on Sunday, during which the American claimed mandatory face mask laws were a step toward “subjugation” of the public.
Tenpenny, an osteopathic physician who supports the theory that flu vaccinations can cause autism, said she believed masks and social distancing were being used as a tool to “separate us” and had turned the community against each other.
“This is the same psychological effect that they did with the brown shirt movement in Hitler times,” she said.
“When they convinced all of these kids to spy on their parents and report them if they were saying something against the propaganda of the political party.
“I feel the mask is the first step of subjugation – they are forcing you to do something against your will that does nothing for the greater good.”
The controversial Evans, who has railed against government health protocols including advice to wear masks, had asked Tenpenny about the “emotional impact” of wearing “something over their face”.
“I don’t want to use the word brainwashing but the messaging that this creates and the compliance for people … because I’ve shared stuff on my social media and I’m sort of known for being that person that likes to pose the question, or share something that will give people pause,” he said.
“People are saying it’s a small price to pay because we will only have to do it until we flatten the curve – again – and it’s not really an inconvenience for us because we are protecting the greater good, we’re protecting our community
“And anybody that doesn’t should be ashamed of yourself and why don’t you just man up – as they say to me – and take one for the team.”
Earlier Tenpenny stated she believed masks provided only a “placebo” effect and the government and public pressure to wear them was a form “psychological warfare”.
“It kind of goes along with the same idea as ‘I have to get a flu shot to keep you from getting the flu’,” she said.
“If you feel like you need to wear a mask because you are at risk … wear your mask.
“If you think they work, well fine. Well why do I have to wear a mask to protect you, and why is it that all of us have to wear a mask in order for it to be effective.
“It’s sort of like the same argument that they use that ever needs to be vaccinated in order for everyone to be protected.
“It’s psychological warfare.”