GetUp Director Simon Sheikh, Liberal MP Sophie Mirabella, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet and a few others were recently on a panel discussing the newly imposed carbon tax. When Sheikh collapsed, Mirabella simply looked on, doing absolutely nothing to come to his aid.
Video of the incident is below. Useless to say, Mirabella's reaction – or lack thereof – is causing quite a debate online, with many saying they would not want her around in case of an emergency or, even worse, a life and death situation.
The panel of experts was assembled by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation network to discuss carbon tax, with Combet actually answering a question when Sheikh passed out.
As the video shows, Mirabella was sitting right next to him so, of course, she was the first one to notice something was wrong.
Sheikh's head hit the desk with a thump, so that too was an indication that he was not feeling alright. Previously, his answers had been vague and confusing, even making the other panelists think that he was not ok.
Even though Mirabella saw Sheikh with his head on the desk, she did nothing to help him out – on the contrary, she seemed to be recoiling away from him as if in disgust.
It was Combet who rang the alarm.
“I’m not sure what Simon’s doing there. Is he OK? I think... he’ s not OK. Simon is not OK,” he said, as crew members rushed to his aid.
The GetUp boss regained some consciousness to say that he was ok and had just “fainted a bit.” He was escorted off the set.
After the incident went viral, it emerged that he had fainted because he was still recovering from a severe bout of the flu.
A spokesperson for Mirabella issued a statement to say that, as much as people criticized her for how she reacted, she had the perfect excuse: she was in shock like everyone else there.
“She was unaware it was a medical emergency at the time and has since contacted him to wish him a speedy recovery,” her rep said.
As it happens, people in the Twitterverse are still not convinced, saying she should have helped somehow.