Far-right political commentator Candace Owens has frequently gone viral for her extremist and downright bonkers stances.
She's openly spread disinformation regarding the COVID-19 vaccines that have proven to be safe and effective against the virus. She's raised money for business owners who called George Floyd—an unarmed Black man murdered by police—a "thug." She downplayed the atrocities committed by Adolf Hitler. She falsely claimed that leftists were behind a series of bomb threats put forth by conservatives.
This week, Owens added yet another absurd proposition to oppose the COVID-19 lockdown policies in Australia, which have been decried by conservatives as overreaching and tyrannical.
In what could also be considered a veiled critique of U.S. foreign policy, Owens asked her audience:
"When do we deploy troops to Australia? When do we invade Australia and free an oppressed people who are suffering under a totalitarian regime? When do we spend trillions of dollars to spread democracy in Australia? Australia currently, make no mistake, is a tyrannical police state. ... Of course, I ask that in jest, as we all know the real answer. What's actually happening in Australia under the guise of this virus is federal overreach."
Owens redundantly said that Australians were "quite literally being imprisoned against their will."
While many states in Australia have reopened, the country did have some of the lengthiest lockdowns on earth. These lockdowns have been lambasted by American conservatives like Owens looking to further generate outrage against lockdowns at home.
In an op-ed for the New York Times published earlier this month, Australian journalist and disinformation specialist Van Badham pushed back against this perception:
"Recently, [Australians have] also become aware of a disturbing myth that appears to be enthusiastically fostered on the American right: Our experience of the pandemic, apparently, has been that of a violent police state. We must have been too busy taking out the bins to notice."
"Confected for an American audience, it seems to be part of an international right-wing campaign to recruit those frustrated by lockdowns, unsure of vaccines and animated by appeals to personal liberty. Australians, trying to get their kids to bed before bingeing on 'Ted Lasso,' have been enlisted as unwitting props in an American culture war."
Indeed, in a Guardian poll conducted in recent months, a majority of Australians said governments shouldn't end lockdowns until a substantial amount of children were vaccinated.
Owens' deranged comments were called out for contributing to the myth that Australia has devolved into a totalitarian police state.
The comments were overwhelmingly dismissed.
The United States' has around 13 times more people than Australia, yet U.S. COVID deaths are around 466 times greater.