ScoMo has landed himself in more hot water as he scrambled to defend the now-infamous India COVID travel ban.
Scott Morrison made an appearance on The Today Show to defend the controversial India travel ban. Beginning today, the ban goes for two weeks, with breaching fines ranging from a $66,000 fine, to a five-year jail sentence. Obviously, the Indian-Australian community, along with politicians, celebrities and allies, are rightfully outraged.
India is currently undergoing an apocalyptic second wave of its COVID-19 crisis, hitting a record 300,000 daily infections. With a collapsing healthcare system, an absent Prime Minister, and a population of over a billion people, the virus is devastating the country.
The travel ban has been broadly criticised as having a nasty, racist undertone, due to the lack of such extreme measures when the U.K and U.S were experiencing similar COVID-19 infection and death rates. The Australian Medical Association (AMA) have stated the ban should be reversed immediately and that it is safer for citizens to be allowed home.
Staying true to form, ScoMo immediately backtracked on his comments about the travel sanction, saying that “the likelihood of any sanction, anything like that, is extremely remote and that’s what it is,” while also vaguely addressing that if any Australian were to return from India, the Australian Border Force would “deal with the issue sensitively and within their authority.”
The backflip from #ScottyTheRacist over jail time for citizens returning from India proves it was pure rhetoric to stir fear, hate & racism, & it backfired… like everything else he touches #auspoI #racism #COVID19 #IndiaCovidCrisis #StrandedAussies
— Dawn Whitehand (@dawnwhitehand) May 4, 2021
Indian Australians are continuing to urge the government to provide as much assistance to the struggling country. Dr Yadu Singh is the President of the Federation of Indian Associations of NSW and is pushing for the government to support the vaccination of Australian citizens currently in India. “I can see why the government of Australia banned those flights temporarily… but we must not forget that these Australian citizens stuck or stranded are our moral obligation — they are our people,” he said.
I hope the community of Australians of Indian descent remembers this moment that they were left for dead by @ScottMorrisonMP . There are so many other options to bring people back that are not being taken. #auspol
— Alex Turnbull (@alexbhturnbull) April 30, 2021