The anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine movement is often perceived as a gaggle of fringe dwellers united by a loose collection of barely rational ideas. As one protester put it in a social media video from the protest on Saturday, “The people who think we’re gonna get sick are the same people that believe that we’ve actually landed on the moon. … The same people who think there’s COVID are the same people who believe that planes brought down the Twin Towers.”
This loose-knit collective with conspiracist tendencies overshadows the organised element of the protests, and the main organisation on board is the Pentecostal church. Worldwide, Pentecostals are comparing lock-downs and vaccines with Satan and expressing blatantly anti-science opinions.
Where does Scott Morrison stand on this? As we know, Morrison is an active member of Pentecostalism, and while he certainly hasn’t promoted the above ideas himself, he treads carefully so as not to offend his fellow believers, either.
Currently in full damage control, Morrison addressed the protests in interviews on Sunday. He called the event “selfish” and “reckless,” but defended a Queensland anti-lockdown rally organised by one of his MPs, George Christensen.
He also neglected to speak out strongly in favour of lock-downs. On vaccines, he said his government would strive to make them available to every Australian, “if they want one.”
How strong is Scott Morrison’s commitment to mass vaccination? Did his religious views impact the government’s lacklustre response to a preferential vaccine deal offered by Pfizer? How else can we explain the inexplicable tardiness faced with this opportunity?
If Morrison wishes to continue leading this secular nation beyond the next election, he should make efforts to reassure us on these points.
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