- An Australian politician slammed Sen. Ted Cruz after he mocked his government’s vaccine mandate.
- “Individual liberty matters. I stand with the people of #Australia,” Cruz tweeted.
- “When it comes to COVID, I’m glad we are nothing like you,” Michael Gunner replied.
An Australian politician on Sunday sharply rebuked Sen. Ted Cruz after the Texas Republican mocked his COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
Australia’s Northern Territory chief minister Michael Gunner announced last Wednesday that anyone who serves the public, such as workers in retail, hospitality, gyms and other customer-facing industries, must get their first shot against the coronavirus within a month. Failure to comply could result in a $US5,000 ($AU6,741) fine.
Cruz responded to the news on Twitter that he loves “the Aussies” and their “history of rugged independence is legendary” but the “Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad.”
“I’ve always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific,” he added. “Individual liberty matters. I stand with the people of #Australia.”
Days later, Gunner hit back at Cruz in a lengthy follow-up statement, questioning the senator’s knowledge of the COVID-19 situation in the Australian region.
“Nearly 70,000 Texans have tragically died from COVID. There have been zero deaths in the Territory. Did you know that?” Gunner replied on Twitter to Cruz.
“We have been in lockdown for just eight days in 18 months. Our businesses and schools are all open. Did you know that?” the Australian politician continued.
Gunner went on to further criticize Cruz’s comments, writing: “We don’t need your lectures, thanks mate. You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a life-saving 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,” Gunner added.
-Michael Gunner (@fanniebay) October 18, 2021
Cruz’s office did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The Republican senator has been similarly critical of vaccine mandates in the US. Last week, he and several conservatives claimed that vaccine requirements for airline workers had contributed to flight cancellations. Southwest Airlines and its labor union dismissed the theory, citing weather conditions and air traffic control issues as reasons for the delays.
Cruz has also previously introduced legislation that would ban vaccine and mask mandates. Public health officials have recommended mask-wearing to help curb the spread of the virus and vaccinations to help prevent severe hospitalization and death.