I don’t want to make light of the atrocious way the world’s number-one ranked tennis player Novak Djokovic was tormented by Australian authorities over his choice to not get the Covid jab, nor the stress and disappointment that his detention and subsequent deportation must have caused. However, if Djokovic were to put a positive spin on the whole debacle, he might conclude that at least he got to leave.
The same cannot be said for ordinary Australians who have refused the jab and are as a result being viciously targeted and discriminated against by federal and state governments and a rabid, rottweiler press. Frankly, the situation for vaccinated Australians is scarcely better.
As Rebel News’ Avi Yemini explains, there is a lot of confusion about the circumstances of Djokovic’s eventual deportation, not the least among Australians who, bizarrely, reportedly overwhelmingly support the decision to kick him out of the country.
Back in November 2021, Djokovic was issued a temporary activity visa to play in the Australian Open, held in January. Despite mixed messaging from Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt to Tennis Australia, Djokovic received in December a letter from Tennis Australia’s chief medical officer stating that he had been granted a “medical exemption from COVID vaccination” on the grounds that he had recently recovered from the disease. He was then issued an online confirmation via the Australian Travel Declaration app that he had been granted “quarantine-free arrival into Australia.”
Upon arrival on January 5, Djokovic was detained, interrogated by Australian Border Force officials, informed that his visa was going to be canceled, and then sent off to an immigration detention facility. His lawyers appealed the cancellation, and on January 10 the Federal Circuit Court found the visa had been unreasonably canceled and ordered Djokovic’s release from detention.
Apparently that wasn’t good enough for Federal Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who then used his discretionary powers to unilaterally cancel Djokovic’s visa on “health and good order grounds,” a decision the full bench of the Federal Court subsequently upheld as lawful, while declining to address the merits of the decision.
Despite the media noise regarding Djokovic’s failure to disclose a recent trip to Spain on his travel entry form, the Australian government’s real beef with Djokovic, as revealed in court documents, was his potential to “foster anti-vaccination sentiment” and to presumably lure others down the dangerous path of questioning government edicts, thinking independently, and making their own health choices.
Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić accused Australian authorities of humiliating themselves with their persecution of Djokovic. The truth is, the country’s political leaders and the public health grifters who advise them have been tormenting Australian citizens for two years. The lockdowns, the closure of Australia’s external border followed by internal state border closures, and now the despicable vax mandates have savaged personal liberty. Their effects have no rival in the 122-year history of the Commonwealth.
Egregious Examples of Tormenting Australians
Australia’s public health tyranny has profoundly affected Australians from all walks of life, both vaccinated and unvaccinated. There is a litany of appalling stories of Australians being barred from returning to their families and homes, and from visiting sick and dying loved ones, including infants, amidst internal border closures.
Late last year, a Melbourne couple, both fully vaccinated, wanted to enter the state of Western Australia to bring home the body of their 20-year-old son who had just committed suicide. They were told they would need to complete a 14-day hotel quarantine upon arrival. With children at home, this was not viable. In a similar set of circumstances, a Perth couple who flew to Sydney after learning that their daughter had committed suicide was left stranded with her remains for two weeks after Western Australia abruptly closed its borders to returning residents.
When Darwin resident Hayley Hodgson was found by authorities to be a close contact of a Covid- infected friend, she was visited at home by police and hauled off to a Northern Territory internment camp for 14 days, despite testing negative on three occasions throughout her stay. Northern Territory’s totally unhinged Chief Minister Michael Gunner, who recently ranted that “if you are anti-mandate, you are absolutely anti-vax,” regardless of your vaccination status, kicked off 2022 by prohibiting unvaccinated people 16 and older from leaving home even for the purposes of work or exercise.
Australia’s abandonment of its once-prized democratic principles has cast a shadow over my own circumstances. Four days into the new year, my father very unexpectedly passed away after a sudden heart attack. The grieving has been exacerbated by the pang of separation; I haven’t been able to see my family since before the pandemic due to a mixed basket of nuttiness: border closures, quarantine rules, and now vax mandates for Australian citizens traveling to and from the country.
My father spent decades patriotically serving his country: he was a retired army colonel, a highly decorated soldier and Vietnam veteran, a United Nations peacekeeper, and a senior economic advisor and speechwriter to successive prime ministers. Had someone told him back then that in 2022 his daughter would be indefinitely prevented from freely reentering her country of birth to attend his funeral due to government-imposed vax mandates, he would have been shocked into oblivion.
Australian Left Pretends They Live in a Democracy
When the U.S. media started paying attention to what was unfolding in Australia and asking pertinent questions, and politicians like Florida Gov. Ron de Santis accused the country of going off the rails, left-wingers like the Guardian Australia’s Van Badham were hastily deployed and op-eds dispatched to quell the rumblings of concern and alarm. A supercilious Badham insisted that democracy is fine, and mocked Americans for lapping up a “disturbing myth” fostered on the American right and spread by anti-vaxxers and far-right agitators in the “dark corners of the internet.”
Australian journalist Josh Szeps tried a similar tactic in a recent interview with Joe Rogan. He concocted a moronic metaphor to justify labeling journalist Tim Pool, of all people, an alt-right extremist for his condemnation of Australia’s quarantine camps, only to be smacked down, gently but firmly by Rogan, who was having none of it.
Americans are right to be alarmed at what’s been unfolding in Australia. But they shouldn’t be so busy rubbernecking that road wreck that they miss the hazard in their own lane. As it stands today, one cannot function in Democrat-run cities like Seattle, San Francisco, New York, and even the nation’s capital without showing your medical papers. Hawaii requires U.S. citizens visiting from out of state to provide proof of vaccination or a negative test result, and the Biden administration keeps toying with Americans over the possibility of vaccination requirements for domestic air travel.
Draconian policies under the guise of a public health emergency are a global scourge; in Australia you get a glimpse of the potential for these totalitarian trends to spiral out of control. Authorities wanted to use Djokovic as a scapegoat in order to score cheap political points among a beleaguered and disoriented population; what they’ve wound up with instead is a sacrificial lamb.
The tennis superstar was pilloried and banished for refusing to bow to medical tyranny. His political persecution will prove a powerful symbol for Australians whose basic freedoms are being egregiously impeded by the overbearing, overreaching arm of a Covid cult police state.