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US TV host says Melbourne less free than Soviet Union

An American TV host has launched a scathing attack on Daniel Andrews for implementing tough coronavirus restrictions, claiming people in the Soviet Union had more freedom than those in Melbourne.

Fox News host and political commentator Dan Bongino used his Friday show to slam the Victorian premier over the state’s stage four lockdown.

Under restrictions brought in to curb the spread of COVID-19, people in Melbourne are not allowed outside between 8pm and 5am, can be fined $200 for failing to wear a face mask and are limited to one hour of exercise each day.

The former secret service agent cited an article from the American Institute for Economic Research titled ‘Madness in Melbourne’ by Jeffrey A. Tucker which described the restrictions as ‘tyranny without limit’. 

‘For all my Australian listeners, I feel really bad for you if you live in Melbourne right now,’ Bongino said.

‘You are watching your civil liberties go down the tubes right now, being flushed down the toilet.’

He claimed the Victorian government had turned Melbourne into a ‘police state using the coronavirus as a backdrop’.

‘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.  

When speaking about the rule allowing only one person from each household to go shopping, Bongino questioned whether the Soviet Union imposed those limits.

‘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.’ 

He said Victoria served as an example of what could happen ahead of the US election in November.

‘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 was declared a state of emergency earlier this month as the number of COVID-19 cases surged to record highs, giving police the power to enforce restrictions. 

Tucker used his article to label Mr Andrews a ‘tyrant’ and said Australia was ‘host to one of the world’s meanest governments’. 

‘It is tyranny without limit, at the expense of all human dignity, decency, and rights. The politicians make a desert and call it health,’ he said.  

Victoria recorded another deadly day on Tuesday with 19 more deaths and 331 new active cases of COVID-19.

Premier Andrews has repeatedly insisted the lockdown measures were necessary to save lives and avoid long-term economic disaster. 

‘This strategy is difficult, it’s heartbreaking, it’s very challenging but it’s the only one that will drive down movement across Victoria and, therefore, drive down case numbers,’ he said on Monday. 

Health authorities have been hoping the six-week lockdown and city-wide curfew would cause cases to ‘decline quite rapidly’.

‘What we’re seeing happening in Victoria is based on the world’s best evidence about responding to pandemics, about bringing outbreaks like this under control,’ Deputy Chief Medical Officer Michael Kidd said last week.

‘And what works is keeping people in their homes, keeping people away from other people, and preventing the transmission from one community member to another.’

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