Pauline Hanson’s new WA senator is holed up in hospital recovering from a nasty bout of measles, diagnosed while his leader was copping a national tongue-lashing over her controversial comments about childhood vaccinations.
The condition of Peter Georgiou was kept secret during the toxic State election campaign but was revealed today by PerthNow.
This picture shows a fatigued Senator Georgiou in isolation in Perth Royal Hospital, smiling for a photo with Senator Hanson and party whip, Senator Brian Burstin, who are wearing face masks to protect themselves from contracting the disease. Apart from wearing the mask, Senator Hanson doesn’t appear to be fazed by Senator Georgiou’s condition and is leaning in close for the snap.
The burly electrical contractor-turned politician, described by those who know him as “genuine” and a “nice fella” has been in hospital since Monday.
He fell ill after a trip to Bali. Doctors were unsure of his condition for several days until tests revealed it was measles. It is understood he was vaccinated for measles in childhood.
Senator Hanson, who sources say is aware of the irony of the circumstance, broke away from her election campaign to check on and congratulate Senator Georgiou after a High Court Chief Justice on Friday declared he would replace his brother-in-law Rod Culleton in the Senate.
The photos come amid a backdrop of One Nation’s performance in the WA election being far worse than initially expected, as Labor romped to a landslide win.
Mr Culleton — whose relationship with Senator Hanson soured last year — was disqualified from the Senate because a previous conviction meant he was ineligible to have been elected.
Senator Georgiou’s illness has been so tightly held it is understood not even Mr Culleton was aware he was ill.
It is also understood Mr Culleton had not visited Senator Georgiou in hospital.
Senator Hanson was criticised by doctors and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull for saying parents should get their kids tested before they were vaccinated. She compared making parents vaccinate their kids so they could keep family tax benefits to a “dictatorship”.
She later apologised, but it’s understood it was not the condition of Senator Georgiou that sparked the about-turn.
“I have heard a couple of doctors have said there is no test,” she told Channel Seven’s Sunrise program on Thursday.
“If that be the case, I am wrong. I do apologise. Vaccinations have controlled a lot of diseases. I admit that.”