Senators Marsha Blackburn and Ted Cruz are amongst several conservative lawmakers who called out the Biden administration for preventing four-time Wimbledon champion Novak Djokovic from entering the country.
The Serbian tennis star was barred from the 2022 US Open, which he has already won three times prior, due to the US government’s requirement that non-citizens must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the country.
The US Open officially ruled Djokovic out when they announced that despite not having their own vaccination mandate in place, the tournament would “respect the US government’s position regarding travel into the country for unvaccinated non-US citizens.”
Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) said it was “absurd” that the 21 time Grand Slam champion couldn’t enter the country.
“No one should ever be punished directly or indirectly for not being vaccinated,” she asserted. “The left has realized that if Covid is over, they will lose control over Americans’ lives. That’s why Joe Biden and Anthony Fauci are pushing for a forever pandemic.”
Congressman Thomas Massie (R-KY) argued that “there has never been a moral argument for Covid vaccine mandates, and the scientific argument for Covid vaccine mandates evaporated when we found out it doesn’t even prevent the spread of the virus.”
“Let Novak Djokovic play,” Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) added.
The tennis star had a similar issue involving the Australian Open in January, when he was detained by the country’s border patrol agents for attempting to fly in with a vaccination exemption, and was eventually deported without being able to defend his 2021 title.
Djokovic isn’t interested in pursuing the issue with tournament organizers or the United States government.
“I’m not going to go to America if I don’t have permission, so the Australian saga for me was not pleasant at all,” he remarked. “People still think I forced my way to Australia and tried to come in with no papers, permission or exemption – it is not true.”