Queensland’s chief health officer has been so overwhelmed with personal attacks against her she now has police stationed outside her house, according to a high-ranking medical colleague.
Australian Medical Association Queensland president Chris Perry told Today on Monday morning that the criticism surrounding Dr Young was “quite toxic” and that there were threats being made against her life.
It comes amid rising criticism against Dr Young’s tough stance on Queensland’s borders.
“Jeannette Young now has a couple of police outside her house who go with her everywhere,” Dr Perry said.
“She has had to have extra help with sorting through the applications for quarantine exemption. She was getting over 100 per day and she was trying to deal with it herself.
“So working from five in the morning until nine or 10 at night … it was quite hard work. She now has eight or 10 people who help her do that.
“It has been quite stressful and it hasn’t been helped by cowardly people threatening to take the life of a woman.”
Speaking this morning, Dr Young admitted the attacks had taken an “enormous toll” on her.
“…But then this has taken an enormous toll on every single person in our community,” she said.
“Of course this is tough… I think this has been tough for everyone.
“It helps me to know that our government here in Queensland is willing to support me to that extent… the support they’ve shown me has made me feel much safer to do what I need to do.
“… Unfortunately there’s no rule book for dealing with this.”
It comes as Dr Perry doubles down on his support for Dr Young, after calling for internet trolls to “back off” and “leave her alone” on Sunday.
Pressure on Queensland’s border stance has reached boiling point, after Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton both strongly criticised Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Dr Young by proxy in the last week.
Ms Palaszczuk on Friday said the border exemptions and restrictions were the decision of Dr Young. “Let me make this clear, I don’t make these decisions,” the Premier said.
In recent days, a Canberra woman was unable to attend her father’s funeral, and a father-of-four was told to pick one of his children to say goodbye to him on his deathbed.
Meanwhile, Hollywood icon Tom Hanks jetted into the Gold Coast for a luxury hotel quarantine, and AFL officials continue to lounge by the pool in their COVID-bubble ahead of a Brisbane grand final.
“The (border) restrictions seem to be justified,” Dr Perry said on Monday morning.
“You have got to make a choice … do we have more people at funerals or more COVID funerals?”
Dr Perry told Today host Karl Stefanovic he felt completely comfortable with Dr Young using science to guide the state’s eventual reopening.
“Our simple message is – back the chief health officers and the chief medical officers, they seem to have the information,” he said.
It comes as Queensland recorded no new cases on Monday for the second day in a row.