Married At First Sight's Amanda Micallef has been slammed on social media after sharing controversial coronavirus conspiracy theories.
In a since deleted post, Amanda took to Instagram on Thursday and said, "I'd rather shoot myself in the face than wear a mask.” The same day, it became mandatory for Melbourne and Mitchell Shire residents to wear a mask in an effort to curb the spread of coronavirus in Victoria.
She added, "I REFUSE to strip my identity for a fake agenda. I DO NOT CONSENT."
While she may not believe that coronavirus is real, Victoria recorded its third worst day with 403 new cases hours later.
She shared a video on Friday, explaining why she deleted her post about masks, "Alright, I’m going to do a video to address my last post. And the only reason why I’ve removed it is because a friend of mine who owns a business had a phone call regarding my post, and I don’t want it to impact their business.
"What was really wrong with that post was not what was said, because I’m one person with one voice and one opinion. I understand that it’s a very touchy subject for a lot of people at the moment. And I understand that a lot of people are incredibly frustrated and want to get back to normality, just like everyone else."
She continued, "When people go, ‘Where’s your research?’ I’d like to know how many people are well researched on what’s happening at the moment. How many people actually have the time to read white papers, science papers – all the so-called ‘research’ out there?"
"I’m learning to have a filter, and it’s hard. It’s hard because what you don’t understand is I’m still a normal person with a few extra thousand followers."
"It doesn’t mean that we’re not allowed to have an opinion. Because if I was a nobody and I put that same post up, I guarantee you I wouldn’t cop anywhere near as many hateful comments as I did on that post. Everyone’s out to get you when you’re in the public eye. That’s the major downfall.
"What was wrong with that post was some of the DMs I copped. I copped a death threat over it," she said.
"What I choose to do in my personal life does not make me selfish, my immune system is incredible, I spend hundreds (if not, thousands) of dollars to make sure that my health is efficient. Most people don’t. If you think for one second that us as a collective, wearing masks is going to fix this pandemic any[time] soon, especially in Victoria, I think you are fooling yourself."
She continued, saying she would be wearing a mask to "appease society", but added, "It seems that having a voice offends people in life."
"Off a public platform, so few people agree with what’s happening. But no one’s talking up about it. So I will wear a mask to appease everyone but just know, that I don’t agree with it. And there’s a lot of people who don’t agree with it."
It didn't stop people from commenting on the video to remind her why Victorians are being told to wear masks.
One follower wrote, "Wow.... wear a mask to stay alive. Wear a mask to protect everyone you love. Wear a mask because scientists who have degrees, are trained and know what they’re talking about tell us to. Get over yourself in the ‘public eye.’
"I haven’t spoken to anyone who refuses to wear one or thinks they are ridiculous. That’s why I commented. You deleting your last post says enough... You stuffed up. You’re ‘in the public eye’ just drop that comment once more. It’s a law like stopping at a red light... to keep you safe."
Former Married At First Sight star Carly Bowyer commented on Amanda's post, saying it "isn't about identity", telling her "it's about protecting others".
She wrote, "Amanda, as your friend I'm sorry to hear you think this way. But this isn't about identity, it's about doing our bit to stop the spread of this virus. It's not just about you, it's about protecting others.
"I'm pregnant and my partner is immune compromised, so what about us? I don't like wearing a mask either, but if it means it will help in any way, then why not do it?"
Carly concluded, "I don't know about you, but I just want my normal life back. I don't want to see so many millions of Victorians suffering mentally, emotionally, physically and financially anymore. Let's just kick this virus to the curb as quick as we can! Everyone just needs to do their bit. We can do this!"
On Friday, it was announced there were 300 new cases of coronavirus in Victoria and another 350 on Saturday.