Candace Owens' Slap at Australian 'Tyranny' Viewed Over 300,000 Times

Video of COVID vaccine skeptic Candace Owens criticizing Australian pandemic measures as "tyranny" and joking that the U.S. military should invade Australia has been widely viewed online.

The conservative firebrand made the comments on her Daily Wire TV show as she took aim at the restrictions adopted by federal, state and local governments in Australia to tackle the coronavirus.

Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, reopened on Friday after more than 260 days under lockdown. Australia's biggest city, Sydney, and capital Canberra have also emerged from lengthy lockdowns following high levels of vaccinations.

Owens, who has prominently opposed compulsory COVID vaccination and criticized mitigation measures against the virus in the U.S. such as lockdowns, likened the restrictions imposed Down Under to those of a tyranny.

Candace Owens says we should invade Australia. “Australia currently, make no mistake, is a tyrannical police state. It’s citizens are quite literally being imprisoned against their will. So when do we deploy?”

— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) October 21, 2021

"When do we deploy troops to Australia?" she said before the Victoria lockdown was eased. "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?" she added. "Australia currently, make no mistake, is a tyrannical police state. Its citizens are quite literally being imprisoned against their will. So when do we deploy?"

Though the above clip cuts off here, in the full video, she clarifies that while she is not serious in calling for an invasion, the restrictions in Australia are akin to "totalitarianism."

"Of course, I ask that in jest, because we all know the real answer. What's happening in Australia, under the guise of a virus—which by the way, as of August 7 2021, experts estimate the overall recovery rate is between 97 percent and 99.75 percent. What's actually happening under the guise of this virus is federal overreach, tyranny, totalitarianism; the kind that gives birth to evil dictatorships and human atrocities," Owens said. "We are watching a replay of the early ambitions of Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez. That is what is hiding beneath the guise of this fictitious perpetual need to slow the spread."

She also compared the Australian government to the Taliban, saying, "Both groups believe that they have a right to oppress and a right to imprison people for their own good. Are Western governments any better anymore?"

As of Friday morning, the video of her comments was viewed more than 330,000 times, and sparked a lively Twitter thread by many who rejected her take on the restrictions.

"Invade an ally?? Lol," tweeted Democratic congressional candidate Eric Garcia. "Australia is a vital ally, partner, and friend of the United States."

One user from Queensland tweeted, "I thought this must be a SNL skit it's so silly," adding: "Candace Owens is embarrassing herself."

One user tweeted: "We are at 61 deaths per million people compared to US's 2200+. We are doing just fine thank you," while another wrote: "So what alternative can she offer? Our hospital system can not cope with an unchecked pandemic!"

Owens' comments follow a similar swipe against Australian authorities made last week by Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) who tweeted: "The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful and sad," before adding: "Individual liberty matters."

It prompted a stern response by the Northern Territory's chief minister, Michael Gunner, who tweeted: "You know nothing about us. And if you stand against a life-saving vaccine, then you sure as hell don't stand with Australia."

"I love Texas (go Longhorns), but when it comes to Covid, I'm glad we are nothing like you," he added.

Australia's public health measures have been met with protests, but are also broadly supported by the population. They have also been effective, with only 1,500 deaths, and 130,000 cases in a population of 25 million.

Update (10/22/2021, 9:15 p.m.): This article has been updated to include additional context for Candace Owens' remarks.

Candace Owens on set
Candace Owens is seen on set of "Candace" on October 8, 2021, in Nashville, Tennessee. She criticized Australian authorities for their lockdowns to mitigate against the COVID pandemic. Jason Davis/Getty