Mary-Louise McLaws Obituary, Death – The epidemiologist who helped Australians through the Covid-19 pandemic, Professor Mary-Louise McLaws, passed away from brain cancer at the age of 70.
According to a statement to the Sydney Morning Herald from her husband Richard Flook, McLaws passed away on Saturday night while she was sleeping.
She had received such excellent care from the staff at Woollahra’s Wolper Hospital, and Flook noted that she had appreciated the numerous friends who had visited her and been so kind to our family. The funeral service for McLaws will be organized by the family in the upcoming days and held at the Emanuel Synagogue in Sydney’s eastern suburbs. McLaws received a brain cancer diagnosis in January of last year.
As one of 92 Australians honored in a special Covid-19 honor roll in last year’s Queen’s Birthday honors, she received an Order of Australia for her contributions to epidemiology, infection prevention, and health management. Professor of epidemiology at the University of New South Wales.
McLaws served as an independent advisor to the World Health Organization’s health crises program on Covid infection and control as well as a member of the NSW Clinical Excellence Commission’s Covid infection prevention and control taskforce. Her WHO meetings frequently took place at night and lasted into the wee hours of the morning due to time zone variations.
In 2021, McLaws admitted to being “constantly jetlagged” but said she was always willing to forgo sleep in order to be educated on cutting-edge, constantly evolving scientific studies. During the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, she gained notoriety outside of the medical community by devoting a large portion of her time to spreading crucial health messages about infection control and frequently making herself readily available to journalists at all hours to assist with their understanding of epidemiology.
Her speech was very calm and eloquent at a time when Australians were tremendously afraid. The Australian people found it to be a great source of comfort to hear her on programs like yours and to see her on TV explain the best way we could defend ourselves in a very calm but authoritative and clear way, Butler added.