Washington Post opinion columnist Max Boot was ripped off for now-deleted tweet lamenting Saudi Arabia to be “more progressive” than the United States over its intention to impose new mandates COVID-19 vaccine.
“Residents of Saudi Arabia will need to prove on a mobile app that they have received at least one dose of vaccine to enter public and private institutions from Sunday, including schools, stores, malls, markets, restaurants, cafes, concert halls and public transport As of August 9, Saudi citizens will need two doses to travel abroad, ”the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.
The country’s move comes as coronavirus cases are on the rise again with the spread of the Delta variant. COVID-19 vaccines, which have been shown to be very effective against the virus, have shown varying levels of impact against the new variant, studies show. The Pfizer vaccine was found to be 88% effective against the new threat, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine was found to be slightly less effective with an effectiveness rate of 67%.
“Words I never thought I’d write: Saudi Arabia is more progressive than America,” Boot tweeted Wednesday. “Saudis will need to show proof of vaxx to enter schools, stores, malls, restaurants, concerts, public transport. “
“This tweet has it all,” tweeted the Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy.
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Given Saudi Arabia’s history of cracking down on rights, critics have questioned whether Boot instead of “progressive” intended to type “authoritarian.”
“So progressivism IS authoritarianism,” tweeted “Relatable” podcast host Allie Beth Stuckey. “So glad we cleared this up!” “
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“By this definition, hasn’t Saudi Arabia been more ‘progressive’ for a long time? “, Asked Washington Examiner columnist Tim Carney.
As more than one critic noted, Saudi Arabia does not deserve the term “progressive” because it has long treated women as “second class citizens”. It was not until 2018 that the Gulf country allowed women to drive; a year later, women were finally allowed to obtain their own passports and travel without a male guardian, usually a father, husband or other male relative.
Boot deleted the tweet as a result of the quick feedback and replaced it with a thread explaining why.
“I deleted this tweet because it led to too many stupid trolls in the direction of” Aha! So progressivism is authoritarian, ”he wrote, adding that the word“ progressive ”is perhaps too“ vague ”.
“Obviously, this was by no means an endorsement of a brutal regime,” he continued. “I was just pointing out that the Saudis are smart about vaccinations – and we are not. This is largely because many on the right (and on Twitter!) Believe they should have the right to spread the disease. “
Boot then appeared to lecture his detractors, tweeting, “We have to be big enough to recognize that even the governments we hate are doing certain things well. ”
“Require vaccinations for shopping, flying, etc. is not authoritarianism – nor is it to demand motorcycle helmets or to ban smoking indoors, ”he said. “These are smart public health decrees. Those who oppose it do not protect freedom. They endanger public health. “
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While Boot wrote that he “never” thought he would call Saudi Arabia more progressive than the United States, some of his critics informed him that they weren’t at all surprised. that he made the comparison.