Some Republicans just don’t ever learn and continue to take their ill-informed logic to public platforms like Twitter. In the latest of Republican embarrassments, Sen. Ted Cruz was graciously slammed on Twitter after mocking Australia's new COVID-19 vaccine requirements for workers.
“I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I’ve always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific,” Cruz tweeted alongside a clip of Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner discussing COVID-19 rates and fines for not being vaccinated. He continued: “The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful and sad. Individual liberty matters. I stand with the people of Australia.”
Cruz’s post received widespread attention online, including a killer response from Gunner.
"Hey Ted Cruz, g'day from the Northern Territory in Australia. Here are some facts. Nearly 70,000 Texans have tragically died from COVID. There have been zero deaths in the Territory. Did you know that?" Gunner shared in a tweet. "Vaccination is so important here because we have vulnerable communities and the oldest continuous living culture on the planet to protect. Did you know that?"
Gunner emphasized the importance of vaccinations to protect the vulnerable and ended with a mic drop criticizing Cruz’s lack of knowledge not only of his country, but the COVID-19 vaccine.
"We don't need your lectures, thanks mate. You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a lifesaving vaccine, then you sure as hell don't stand with Australia. I love Texas (go Longhorns), but when it comes to COVID, I'm glad we are nothing like you."
According to The Guardian, the Northern Territory’s new vaccine mandate requires essential workers in industries including retail, hospitality, and education to get their first COVID-19 vaccination dose by Nov. 12 and second by Dec. 24. Those who fail to comply will not be allowed at their workplace and could be fined at least $5,000.
The news quickly went viral on social media, with many right-wing conservatives criticizing the Australian government for overstepping or using it as an example of "COVID tyranny."
Cruz is among those who not only criticized Australia's new rule but has been consistently opposed to vaccine mandates—although, he claims, he is not anti-vaxx.
“While I support the vaccine and have received it, Americans have the right to exercise personal choice when it comes to their health,” Cruz said in a recent statement. “Getting the vaccine is a decision to be made in consultation with one’s doctor, not forced on Americans by the government.”
But while Cruz claims getting the vaccine is a personal choice, research has proven that vaccines are the most effective way to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Coming from a state with not only high COVID-19 infection rates and hospitalizations but one of the highest coronavirus death tolls in the country, Cruz should understand that. If he really cared about his residents and this country, he would not criticize efforts to get people vaccinated.
According to local reports, only 222 people have been infected with the virus in the Territory and not a single person has died. Meanwhile, Texas has had more than 69,300 deaths and infection cases in the millions.
Now that someone like Gunner has drawn attention to the stats and beautifully fired back at Cruz, we can only hope that at least some of Cruz’s followers understand the importance of vaccinations and the impact on the Lone Star State from a lack of them.