The man known as the ‘king of Instagram’ has likened Australia to Nazi Germany in a rant about its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Dan Bilzerian, an influencer with 32.7 million followers on the social media platform, made the comments on the Full Send podcast which boasts an audience of more than one million subscribers.
A beneficiary of his businessman father’s trust fund, Bilzerian made himself an Insta-famous ‘influencer’ by portraying an indulgent life of beautiful women, boys’ toys and parties.
During a discussion on the podcast about owning guns, Bilzerian, 40, said it was important for Americans to own firearms not just for personal protection but as ‘a defence against tyranny’.
‘Look what’s happened with Australia right now,’ he said.
‘Australia is f***ed,’ responded one of the podcast’s hosts, Kyle Forgeard.
‘So f***ed,’ agreed Bilzerian.
‘It’s insanity, they’re killing people’s dogs, won’t let Australian citizens back in, you can’t leave, it’s like Nazi Germany over there.
‘I don’t know if that would be happening if they had guns, you know…
‘They’re like macing and pepper-spraying and shooting these people with rubber bullets who are just peacefully protesting and I just look at that and I’m like, f***, what do you do.
‘How do you rebel against the government if you have no weapons?’
Bilzerian (centre) made himself an Insta-famous ‘influencer’ by portraying an indulgent life of beautiful women, boys’ toys and parties
Bilzerian, an influencer with 32.7 million followers on Instagram, made the comments about Australia on the Full Send podcast
Bilzerian (pictured, with beard) regularly posts pictures of his huge arsenal of guns and of himself using firearms at shooting ranges
Bilzerian regularly posts pictures of his huge arsenal of guns and of himself using firearms at shooting ranges.
He famously filmed himself while present at the Las Vegas shooting in 2017, where Nevada man Stephen Paddock killed 60 people after shooting 1000 bullets from the 32nd floor of Mandalay Bay Hotel into a music festival below.
‘My greatest fear is that someone will break in and I won’t be able to decide what gun to shoot them with,’ he once captioned a photo of a table covered in his guns.
Bilzerian is one of a number of American personalities who have felt qualified to comment on Australia’s response to the pandemic, including lockdowns and border restrictions.
‘Tyranny. Totalitarianism. The kind that gives birth to dictatorships,’ conservative commentator Candace Owens said in a Daily Wire video in October.
She also urged the US to ‘invade Australia’ to protect its citizens, a claim she later said was made in jest.
A bizarre rally by a handful of Americans in New York to protest against Australia’s mask mandates took place in October
Fox News host Tucker Carlson had also claimed Australia Tucker ‘looks a lot like China did at the beginning of the pandemic’ in one of his opening monologues.
It preceded a bizarre rally by a handful of Americans in New York to protest against Australia’s mask mandates where participants carried Australian flags and chanted, ‘Save Australia’.
The US has passed 777,000 deaths from Covid-19 and currently has more than 48 million active cases. Australia counts 1994 people as having died from Covid, with around 208,000 active cases.
While Australia’s public health response to Covid-19 has sometimes been uneven due to disagreements between Federal and state authorities, it is widely considered one of the most successful in the world at minimising death and serious illness from the virus.
Respected US scientist William Haseltine, a key figure in the fight against HIV/AIDS, wrote in Forbes Magazine: ‘Australia’s success proves that a strong public health response enforced by a democratic government focused on vigilant testing, tracing and quarantine is the key to fighting a pandemic.’
Haseltine recommended the approach to other nations, while acknowledging Australia had natural advantages in ‘geographic isolation and population density’.
As of November 28, Australia has 92.3 percent of its population over 16 with one dose of a Covid vaccine, and 86.7 percent fully vaccinated.