Ted Cruz Blasted by Australian Minister: 'We Don't Need Your Lectures'

The chief minister of Australia's Northern Territory has blasted Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) for decrying the "COVID tyranny" in Australia over the implementation of strict vaccine mandates.

Australia's Northern Territory has imposed one of the strictest vaccine mandates in the world. On October 13, Chief Minister Michael Gunner announced that frontline workers, including people working in shops, healthcare and other public-facing roles, needed to have at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by November 13. If they don't comply, they cannot work in their role, and failing to adhere to this rule means that individuals will have to pay a fine of AU$5,000 (about $3,700).

"Of course, there can be exemptions, but these are extremely narrow, and must be backed up with medical evidence. Simply not wanting the vaccine is not a reason," Gunner added.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz tweeted about the strict rules later that day, criticizing them and posting a video of Gunner announcing the new rules.

"I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I've always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific. The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad. Individual liberty matters. I stand with the people of Australia," Cruz tweeted.

I love the Aussies. Their history of rugged independence is legendary; I’ve always said Australia is the Texas of the Pacific.

The Covid tyranny of their current government is disgraceful & sad.

Individual liberty matters.

I stand with the people of #Australia https://t.co/9elCF0KRA3

— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) October 13, 2021

Gunner posted a long riposte to Cruz on his Twitter account on Sunday.

"G'day from Down Under @tedcruz. Thanks for your interest in the Territory. I'm the Chief Minister. Below are a few facts about COVID down here," Gunner said.

"Nearly 70,000 Texans have tragically died from COVID. There have been zero deaths in the territory. Did you know that?", he added.

"Vaccination is so important here because we have vulnerable communities and the oldest continuous living culture on the planet to protect. Did you know that?

"We've done whatever it takes to protect the Territory. That's kept us safe AND free. We have been in lock down for just eight days in 18 months. Our businesses and schools are all open. Did you know that?

"We don't need your lectures, thanks mate. 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're nothing like you."

The Northern Territory, which has a population just over 211,000 people, has seen the lowest number of cases in Australia since the start of the pandemic, recording only 225 cases in total, according to government data.

New South Wales and Victoria, which are home to Australia's largest metropolitan areas, have been hardest hit, seeing hundreds of new cases a day. Some 55.5 percent of Australia's population has been fully vaccinated, according to Our World in Data.

Michael Gunner COVID-19 restrictions
Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner arrives at Kirribilli House to meet with Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on October 16, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. Gunner hit back at Texas Senator Ted Cruz on Sunday for criticizing Australia's strict COVID restrictions. Dan Himbrechts/Getty