A conservative US pundit has slammed Victoria’s “police state” coronavirus lockdown, saying people in the Soviet Union had more freedom.
Podcast host and Fox News personality Dan Bongino commented on the stage 4 restrictions on his Friday show, citing an article published by the American Institute for Economic Research titled “Madness in Melbourne”.
The article by Jeffrey A. Tucker summarises some of the key restrictions, including the 8pm curfew and limits on shopping and exercise, describing the lockdown as “tyranny without limit”.
“I saw (the article), at first I thought it was a scam,” Bongino said.
“For all my Australian listeners, I feel really bad for you if you live in Melbourne right now. This is not funny. Folks, you are watching your civil liberties go down the tubes right now, being flushed down the toilet.”
Bongino said Melbourne had “basically turned their city into a police state using the coronavirus as a backdrop, despite no evidence whatsoever these lockdowns actually work”.
“They don’t. This virus doesn’t care about your lockdowns at all. You’re just locking people down indoors to recirculate air, so if someone gets it the whole house gets it,” he said.
Rattling off the list of bullet points, Bongino commented, “You may say to yourself, come on, this is 1980s Soviet Union – no, this is Melbourne today.”
He was particularly surprised by the one person per day shopping rule.
“I’m not even sure that was a rule in the Soviet Union,” he said. “You may have been more free (in the Soviet Union), the Soviets didn’t even have these rules.
“How is what I just described not a police state? How is what I just described not Solzhenitsyn’s Gulag Archipelago?”
The former US Secret Service agent said Victoria’s lockdown was a warning ahead of the US elections in November.
“Ladies and gentlemen, what is going on?” Bongino said.
“Do you understand that if we don’t take some kind of action at the voting booth and get these people out and let them know we will never allow this again, that in the name of public health your neighbourhood could be next?”
Victoria declared a state of disaster earlier this month in response to the rapid rise in COVID-19 cases, separate from the state of emergency declared in March.
The state of disaster, which runs for four weeks, gives police and authorities sweeping new powers to enforce tough stage 4 restrictions designed to stop the spread of the virus.
“The Premier has imposed a vicious police state without precedent in this country’s history,” Tucker wrote in the American Institute for Economic Research article.
“His name is Dan Andrews (a sweet-sounding name that masks the tyrant he has become), and he tweets out pictures of empty streets to brag about what he has achieved in the name of suppressing a virus. Tacitus’s line about the Roman empire comes to mind: ‘Where they make a desert, they call it peace’.”