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'Got it wrong': Norman Swan apologises for linking Warne's death to Covid, accepts he 'hurt the family'

The Roar logo The Roar 16/11/2022 The Roar

Norman Swan has been forced to apologise for falsely linking the deaths of Shane Warne and former Australian Senator Kimberley Kitching to Covid-19.

The host of ABC’s RN’s Health Report was on News Breakfast on Tuesday morning discussing a study that linked those who had suffered from Covid being a greater risk for having a heart attack, stroke, or thrombosis.

“It’s too much of a coincidence that Shane Warne and the Labor senator in Victoria died not long after a Covid infection, and people are reporting sudden death after Covid infection,” he said on ABC News. “It’s not benign.”

But the former physician and current broadcaster quickly regretted his comments.

“I 100 percent accept that I got it wrong,” Swan told Guardian Australia. “And no matter what the context I can’t escape the fact that I hurt the family and I apologise for that and feel terrible about it.”

The apology was repeated on ABC News Breakfast on Wednesday morning

“Dr Norman Swan has issued an apology after suggesting there may be a Covid link to the deaths of Labor senator Kimberley Kitching and cricket great Shane Warne,” said Michael Rowland.

“He made those comments during his interview on our program yesterday. Dr Swan says he’s personally apologised to Senator Kitching’s husband yesterday and that he made an error he regrets.”

Warne was 52 when he died of a heart attack on the 4th of March, with Senator Kitching passing away from a suspected heart attack just six days later. Kitching’s family has told Swan that the Senator never tested positive for Covid before she died suddenly.

2GB host Ben Fordham didn’t hold back during a heated rant on Swan during his morning radio show.

“He should be ashamed of himself,” said Fordham.

“He hasn’t practiced medicine since the 1980s for starters – that’s how long it’s been since he’s been in the doctor’s room treating a patient.

“Because of the coronavirus he was in the right place at the right time and he became a bit of a superstar at the ABC.

“We’ve been calling out his doomsday scenarios, trying to scare the life out of people when it comes to coronavirus, always giving the worst case scenario… (but) he has overstepped the mark in a major way.”

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