Disgraceful lie circulating after Jock’s death

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MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo’s sudden death has stunned the nation since news first broke on Monday afternoon.

But unsurprisingly, it didn’t take long for conspiracy theorists to pounce.

Within hours, anti-vaxxers began posting on social media, falsely implying that Zonfrillo’s death was linked to the Covid vaccine.

Zonfrillo died in Melbourne in the early hours of May 1. A statement from Victoria Police said officers attended a hotel on Lygon Street for a welfare check, where they located a deceased man at approximately 2am.

While no cause of death has been publicly announced, police said Zonfrillo’s death was not being treated as suspicious and a report would be made for the coroner.

The popular MasterChef judge died on May 1. Picture: SuppliedThe popular MasterChef judge died on May 1. Picture: Supplied

However, that hasn’t stopped conspiracy theorists from spreading disinformation online.

“Did Jock Zonfrillo get the Pfizer or Moderna RNA vaccine?” one person posted on Twitter the day after his death.

Another took issue with the way his death was described as “sudden” with no cause confirmed – conveniently ignoring the fact that Zonfrillo’s family have not released that information.

“The mainstream media has been reporting countless such ‘sudden deaths’ with ‘no cause of death given’,” one prominent anti-vaxxer wrote on Facebook on May 2.

“Since when are death reports being provided with no cause given?

“I know since when: since they rolled out those experimental Covid vaccines, which are dropping people faster than they can clue in that it is murdering them. The mainstream media and medical establishment will never admit it – they omit the REAL reason someone died by saying ‘no immediate cause of death was given’.”

These sorts of ill-informed comments have also attracted significant backlash from Aussies who hit out at “cookers” for taking advantage of the tragedy to peddle their cause.

“Of course the putrid cookers have already come out, saying it was the Covid vaccine that killed Jock Zonfrillo. They really are opportunistic scum. RIP Jock,” one person wrote in response to the lies.

Jock Zonfrillo and wife Lauren and kids Alfie and Isla. Picture: jockzonfrillo/InstagramJock Zonfrillo and wife Lauren and kids Alfie and Isla. Picture: jockzonfrillo/Instagram

“I’m always unsurprised at the amount of cookers that come out of the woodwork when a celebrity dies. Shame on anyone who is using Jock Zonfrillo’s death to push their anti-vax vile rhetoric,” another said.

In March this year, two bombshell reports revealed a spike in deaths in Australia and New Zealand in recent years.

A recent article published by The Exposé, a UK-based website which is known to spread Covid-19 and vaccine misinformation, recently claimed excess deaths in New Zealand increased by 3203 per cent from 2020 to 2022 due to Covid jabs.

However, this allegation was confirmed to be false by AAP FactCheck, with experts insisting that alarming figure was based on a “nonsensical calculation” and that vaccines did not cause a jump in deaths.

Meanwhile, in Australia, a new study released earlier this year found Australia was experiencing its highest excess mortality rates in over 80 years.

According to the Actuaries Institute, there was a 12 per cent increase in excess deaths in 2022, mostly among those aged over 65. Of the additional 20,000 deaths, 10,300 were attributed to Covid-19 – and in another 2900 deaths, the virus was a contributing factor.

While anti-vaxxers have seized on both reports as so-called “proof” of the dangers of vaccines, two of Australia’s leading vaccine experts have come out swinging, hitting out at the vaccine misinformation.

The head of Monash University’s epidemiological modelling unit, Associate Professor James Trauer, told news.com.au earlier this year that “virtually none” of the excess deaths were due to vaccines.

Anti-vaxxers have been spreading an awful lie after MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo’s sudden death.Anti-vaxxers have been spreading an awful lie after MasterChef judge Jock Zonfrillo’s sudden death.

“I can’t say none of it, because a tiny handful of deaths were due to vaccines, but we understand the causes of this increase in death rates, and essentially, vaccines have not contributed,” he said, adding they were explained largely by Covid itself, and by a natural increase in death rates in countries like Australia and New Zealand with ageing populations.

Australian National University professor Peter Collignon, an infectious disease expert who previously worked for the World Health Organisation, also told news.com.au that any vaccine-related deaths were “pretty minimal” and that “for any death that might be attributed to vaccines, thousands could have been prevented”.

The Scottish-born Zonfrillo, 46, was a renowned chef of the much-awarded Orana restaurant in South Australia and joined the Channel 10 program in 2019 for the 2020 season alongside Melissa Leong and Andy Allen.

Production on this year’s season of MasterChef Australia finished about a month ago with Zonfrillo understood to have been in Europe on holiday with his family over recent weeks.

The Daily Telegraph reports his wife Lauren and their two young children, Alfie, 6, and Isla, 2, stayed in Rome when Zonfrillo flew home early ahead of the season launch.

The 46-year-old was also a dad to two adult children, Ava and Sophia, from his first two marriages.

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Channel 10 bumped this week’s planned MasterChef Australia premiere from the TV schedule out of respect for Zonfrillo’s passing, replacing it with the Paramount Plus reality series The Bridge.

The season is now scheduled to begin next Monday night.

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