The divisive psychologist has argued Covid presents a “relatively low risk” and is less dangerous than Australia being governed by a “police state”.
Divisive psychologist Jordan Peterson has taken aim at Australia in a scathing tweet about its management of the coronavirus pandemic.
The controversial Canadian posed an inflammatory question to Australians on Thursday.
“Australians (and perhaps all in the west): are you being asked to choose between the dangers of a police state vs the dangers of Covid?” his tweet read.
“I would certainly prefer the relatively low risk of the latter to the increasingly unpleasant certainty of the former).”
He also called on the opinion of former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia John Anderson, who served from 1999-2005 under John Howard.
Mr Anderson, a renowned conservative, had Dr Peterson as his first guest on his podcast in 2018 and the pair subsequently remained friends.
The former politician responded to the tweet expressing his concern for Covid rules stripping “freedoms and opportunities” from young people.
“I worry greatly about the impacts of Covid on young people, not just because of the health dangers but – as you are right to remind us – because of the potential cost to our young people of the loss of their freedoms and opportunities,” he wrote.
Mr Anderson earlier cited an article by university researcher Peter Kurti in which he argued the zero Covid cases goal was “turning the country into a modern ‘hermit kingdom’”.
“Peter Kurti argues that the attempt to achieve zero COVID-19 cases through lockdowns is not only futile, but pernicious,” Mr Anderson claimed.
“He argues that lockdowns undermine our mutual obligations towards others, thereby fracturing the very fabric of our society.”
Responses to Dr Peterson’s tweet were diverse, with some agreeing they would rather face the wrath of police than what the psychologist called “the relatively low risk” of Covid.
“Australian here. I would much rather have the disease than live under these lockdowns. Most family and friends have said they are more afraid of the government and their response, than Covid,” one person replied.
Someone else argued making small sacrifices in the short term would be worth it for the future of the country.
“We do it all the time, and it’s good. That’s why we generally adhere to speed limits, avoid smoking indoors, etc. It normally results in benefits to the individual as well as the group. Constraints on some freedoms can increase freedom overall,” they wrote.
Dr Peterson has a checkered history in both his private and public life, having developed a dependency on prescription medication and being admitted to rehab following his wife’s cancer diagnosis.
The 59-year-old works as a Canadian psychology professor at the University of Toronto, and has amassed an incredible online following, including 3.26 million YouTube subscribers.
Originally published as ‘Police state’: Dr Jordan Peterson calls out Australia’s approach to Covid