Perhaps someone should give a more neutral summary of events in Australia.
Since the start of the pandemic, the Aust Govt and the governments of each Australian state (6 states) and 2 territories got together and agreed a policy of “containment” of the virus, although in practice, they were adopting a policy of elimination. Each state and territory has its own health department to fund, and (with the exception of NSW) tended to lock down everything, every time a small outbreak occurred, even if only for a few days, to test and contact trace each outbreak out of existence. The Aust Govt didn’t like that approach, as it is the one that has to fund unemployment benefits, social security, etc, and generally is in charge of the overall economy. But overall, the governments achieved a high level of cooperation, despite 4 being centre-right, and 5 being centre-left.
During the course of last year, Melbourne (capital of Vic), went through a very extended lockdown to contain an outbreak that peaked at over 700 cases. That was a big drain on the people of Melbourne and the rest of VIC.
A few months ago, an airport chauffeur in Sydney caught the Delta variant from an overseas passenger. NSW was slow to lockdown, and the Delta variant is so contagious that it proved too difficult to contain, even with a hard lockdown. After trying hard, NSW decided the only hope of containing the Delta variant was with a very high level of vaccination. Meanwhile, the virus spread to VIC.
To control a virus via vaccination, you need to get vaccination levels to a “herd immunity” level. The level needed is given by the following formula:
V = (1 - 1/R)/E
where V = the vaccination rate you need to achieve
R is the basic reproduction number (normally written with a small subscript zero after the R)
E = the vaccine effective rate.
Each of the major vaccines claim over 95% effective rate, so let’s assume E=0.95. R=5.7 for the Delta variant according to Aust scientists (although I note that USA CDC assumes a higher figure). Therefore, V = 0.87.
In other words, to have this Delta variant decline and disappear, you need a min 87% vaccination rate. Alternatively, a lower rate, plus some movement restrictions.
NSW and VIC vaccination rates
After a slow start, NSW and Vic have been vaccinating their populations as fast as they can. Unfortunately, there has been a lack of vaccines, mainly because the primary vaccine was supposed to be Astra Zeneca which turned out to be a blood clot risk.
NSW has now achieved over 88% vaccination, and cases are less than half what they were a couple of weeks ago. 623 cases and 6 deaths today.
VIC started later, but is catching up, and is now at 82%. Cases appear to have peaked in the last couple of days, after a big jump following a couple of weekends of loud unlawful protests. 1,377 cases and 4 deaths, today. Hopefully, the downward trend continues.
Protest and Violence
Victoria has had it very tough, given it is in a second long-running hard lockdown. Construction workers were allowed to continue work, provided they complied with certain restrictions, eg keep distances apart, while eating lunch. Unfortunately, the Trade Union that controls construction workers is very militant, and those people generally don’t like being told what to do. After persistent widespread breaches, and a disproportionate number of cases among construction workers, plus a rowdy protest, the VIC govt shut down the construction industry, which led to more protests. The VIC police took a hard line, and protests seem to have stopped for the moment.
Clearly, people in VIC are sick of lockdowns.
Tucker Carlson nonsense
Just a quick reference to the Fox News clip above. It is always interesting to watch a foreign news source, to see how they cover events in Australia. Mostly they get it wrong, or leave out crucial info. Tucker Carson tries to paint a picture with selective bits of info, to push an agenda with his US audience. I could go into detail, but can’t be bothered.
However, no Aust military was used in any way in relation to the protests. Even ignoring legal and constitutional issues, the military is controlled by the (Centre-Right) Aust govt, which has a strained relationship with the VIC govt; the most left leaning in Aust. (Would Trump lend army personnel to help Gavin Newsome stop protests against the Democrats in Calif? That would be the equivalent to what Carlson claimed happened.)
At a much earlier stage, unarmed military personnel were used to distribute information to residents in NSW (not VIC), and had no power to arrest, etc. That appears to be the source of Carlson’s assertions.
I found it amusing that Carlson gives high praise to our centre-left pro-lockdown Western Australian government, but criticises our anti-lockdown centre-right Aust government. But to do otherwise would have undermined his narrative.
In conclusion, no, this is not a part of a grand conspiracy by governments in Australia to take over with authoritarian control of the entire population. They are just following the science. To keep COVID out, they need a high vaccination rate, and other strict measures in the meantime. Not all of the Aust population is on board, but the majority of people are, irrespective of political persuasion.
One final point: USA COVID deaths: 719,933. Australia COVID deaths: 1,346. What USA does is its business, but we are generally happy with what we have been able to prevent.