Opinion: Novak Djokovic would have been better off in the US Supreme Court

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcome the court’s ruling helped “keep our borders strong and keep Australians safe,” thus ending a week-long saga of court hearings, visa revocations, diplomatic quarrels and more.
It’s a real shame for Djokovic that he did not get his case heard before the US Supreme Court, which may well have let the tennis star not only play in the tournament, but also hit Covid-kim in the stands with his racket. OK, I’m exaggerating with the last part. But in the same week, the Australian court upheld the revocation of Djokovic’s visa for not being vaccinated – a rule known to all tennis players who arrived at the tournament since November The Supreme Court of America rejected a similar effort by President Joe Biden to protect a nation’s public health.
Last year, the Biden administration introduced a nationwide mandate for companies with more than 100 employees to require either full vaccination or weekly testing for their employees. The mandate, which would affect about 80 million workers, was immediately challenged.
In Thursday’s Supreme Court ruling, the six Conservative judges agreed to block the mandate did not dispute the federal government’s argument that the weekly test or vaccine requirement would save thousands of lives “and prevent hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations.” Their decision was rather based on the view that the Biden administration “lacked the authority to impose the mandate”, which states and employers claimed would cause “hundreds of thousands of employees to leave their jobs.”
When it comes to saving lives versus saving on compliance costs, the court said astonishingly, “It is not our role to weigh such trade-offs.” However, it did allow for a nationwide vaccine mandate for certain health workers.
The U.S. Supreme Court has apparently become just as biased like the rest of the GOP, which has turned conflicting Covid mandates – from masks to vaccines – into a creed. The result has had a very real impact on the health of Americans.
The Novak Djokovic saga has focused on deep divisions in Australian society
For example, in Florida – a state with a population of 21 million, equivalent to Australia’s 25 million – GOP Governor Ron DeSantis signed in November what he boasted was “the strongest piece of legislation that has been passed across the country” to oppose the Covid-19 vaccine requirements. The law imposed fines on companies and even hospitals that imposed vaccinations without choosing to opt out through medical or religious exemption or proof of natural immunity – despite the fact that recovering from a Covid-19 infection does not make people immune to get it again.

This law, which DeSantis advocates, also frighteningly forbade school districts to have mask requirements and forbade schools to quarantine healthy students who may have been exposed to the virus, all measures that are widely used to prevent the spread of Covid-19 . But DeSantis has apparently refused to let a small thing like science stand in the way of scoring points with the GOP base.

In contrast, Australia has imposed strict Covid-19 security measures, including six shutdowns Melbourne – a city of 5 million – which in total was more than 260 days. It may seem draconian to some Americans, but the data shows that these measures worked to save lives. The nation’s total coronavirus-related death toll in this nearly two-year pandemic 2,673 people. Compare that to Florida, where from Saturday there has been more than 63,000 Covid-related deaths.
A big problem in Biden's first year
It is impossible to say how many lives would have been saved if Republicans like Florida Governor DeSantis did not oppose Covid-19 protection to a partisan affair. What we do know is that Australia’s Covid policies have resulted in “one of the lowest death rates, strongest economic recoveries and highest vaccination rates in the world” – as Australian Immigration Minister Alex Hawke, who revoked Djokovic’s visa, said after Sunday’s court. order.
One data point that springs from his statement is vaccination rates. Almost 80% of all Australians have been vaccinated, and per. Hawke includes it 91.6% of Australians older than 16. Compare that to our country where only 63% of all Americans are fully vaccinated.
Unfortunately, given today’s policies, states with higher vaccination rates tend to be the ones who voted for Biden in the 2020 election, while the states that supported former President Donald Trump are generally lagging behind. Worse, according to a CNN analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University, “as vaccines have become widely available, the average risk of dying from Covid-19 is more than 50% higher in states that voted for President Trump in 2020. “than it is in states that voted for President Biden.”
Recent data supports that shows it the states with the highest Covid-related death rate in 2021 were Oklahoma, Alabama and West Virginia – again, Trump voting states. (Florida was the ninth highest with a rate of 190 deaths per 100,000 people, a total of nearly 41,000 deaths. It was well above the national average rate of 144 Covid-related deaths per 100,000 people.)
So superstar tennis player Djokovic will not be able to play in the Australian Open – but we can assume he will still be fine. He has a net worth of approx $ 220 million, and the odds are that he will win even more tournaments in the future.

I wish we could say that the United States will do the same. As long as GOP leaders prioritize scoring points with their base rather than protecting all Americans instead of taking a side of Australia’s occupational safety measures, our nation will get sicker – and not just when it comes to our physical health.

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