Independent Senator Jacqui Lambie made a series of bizarre threats toward unvaccinated Australians during a recent interview on Sky News Australia.
Senator Lambie appeared on First Edition in early August to discuss the government’s push to fast-track vaccination for people under 40 by offering cash incentives.
“Those anti-vaxxers out there, or that 20-30 percent, the ones out there protesting on the streets and doing that sort of thing, I think you’re going to find the rest of us coming at you lock, stock and barrel,” said Senator Lambie, in an extraordinary statement.
“We’re going to start to get even more agitated, and we’re going to start to get more hardcore. I think that’s what you’re going to see – massive division out there – and it’ll be us [ the vaccinated ] on the front foot. The tide is going to turn on those anti-vaxxers out there and you are really going to feel the heat.”
Leader of Palmer’s United Australia Party Craig Kelly took to social media to remind everyone about the inappropriate language used by the senator.
According to the Australian Immunisation Handbook, valid consent for vaccination can only be given in the absence of undue pressure, coercion or manipulation.
As yet neither the state premiers nor the prime minister have gone on record to assess if health orders which result in Australians losing their jobs, remaining under house arrest, or being excluded from ordinary life count as a violation of valid consent.
Similar hostile language has become more frequent with leaders around the world as they become frustrated by the public’s refusal to comply.
American President Joe Biden has attempted to mandate vaccination for businesses with over 100 employees.
"My message to unvaccinated Americans is this: What more is there to wait for? What more do you need to see?" said President Biden. "We've been patient, but our patience is wearing thin. And your refusal has cost all of us."
It should be noted that there is no statistical evidence to support a rise in anti-vaccination sentiment.
‘Anti-vax’ is a particular ideological standpoint where individuals do not wish to partake in any vaccination. According to HCF, around 3% of Australians describe themselves as ‘anti-vax’ – a figure which remains steady.
Those who are hesitant or resistant specifically to Covid vaccination have repeatedly stated that they are uncomfortable with the speed at which the vaccines were developed and their reported side effects. The vast majority are vaccinated against other diseases, rubbishing claims that they are ‘anti-vax’.
There is an even larger group who may or may not be vaccinated, but reject the idea of mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports. This is statistically consistent with Australia’s pro-choice history regarding vaccination.
Australia is yet to see if vaccine passports will bring with them mass protest movements as seen around the world.