Karl Stefanovic fires up over anti-lockdown protests: 'Sick with rage'

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Today show host Karl Stefanovic echoed the thoughts of millions of Australians on Monday morning when he slammed the anti-lockdown protesters who gathered in the thousands in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane over the weekend while a woman in her 30s was dying from Covid in hospital, unable to say goodbye to her family and friends.

The host called the attendees "selfish" during a chat with deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth, telling him: "You are always very measured. I can't say the same thing about myself when I saw these protests.

Karl Stefanovic on the Today Show wearing a suit
Karl Stefanovic has slammed anti-lockdown protesters who gathered in the thousands while a woman in her 30s died alone from Covid. Photo: Nine

"There is general frustration and anger out there on the streets but this was next level.

"These people were complaining about their freedoms being eroded while they were beating up cops and their horses and potentially spreading this virus.

"At the same time they were doing that, I can’t tell you how selfish these people are, a 38-year-old woman was dying with Covid in hospital.

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"She had to say goodbye, or she couldn’t say goodbye, but her family around the world had to say goodbye to her. She was dying and she died over the weekend while those protests were going on.

"Those protesters should be absolutely ashamed of themselves. The majority of people are doing the right thing so that they can keep their community safe. And then these pelicans go out there and do that. It made me sick with rage," he said.

Anti-lockdown protesters in Sydney
Hundreds of anti-lockdown protesters took to the streets during a rally in Sydney on Saturday. Photo: Getty Images

Karl asked Dr Coatsworth what his thoughts on the protests were and unsurprisingly, he said they were putting Sydneysiders at risk.

"It is just so counter-productive because if you do spread the virus in that sort of setting the only thing that you are doing is keeping yourself under restrictions for longer," he said.

"It just doesn't make any sense to me whatsoever."

He added that he was "devastated" by the death of Adriana Midori Takara.

Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth on the Today show
Deputy chief medical officer Dr Nick Coatsworth said he was "devastated" by the death of Adriana Midori Takara. Photo: Nine

"Juxtaposing that against the protests, it really does bring home why we want to have social distancing, why we don't want that sort of thing to be happening," he said.

NSW recorded 145 new cases on Monday. Of those, 51 were in the community for the entirety of their infectious period. A further 25 were partly in the community while infectious. The combined 76 cases is the highest of the outbreak.

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller announced at the daily press conference this morning: "We have received 10,000 Crime Stoppers reports since Saturday in terms of criminal behaviour and breaches of the health order at the protest which is an amazing outcry by the community."

"We have a Strike Force established, and they will continue to investigate and chase down every individual that we can identify who will be either arrested and/or given tickets for their behaviour. And it is not just about whether it is an unauthorised protest, it was about the danger that they put all of us at in terms of the Delta variant," he added.

Anyone with information regarding the protests is urged to contact Crime Stoppers through the online portal or by calling 1800 333 000.

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