Family Of The Girls Who Travelled To QLD With COVID Say Their Public Shaming Was Due To Race

“Just because we’re fucking black, you all want to run all the way to the media, talking all of this shit"

Covid, courier mail

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The family of the women who bought COVID-19 into Queensland after lying about travelling to Melbourne, say the girls have only been publicly named and shamed because of their race.

The two women, now understood to be 19 and 21, attended a party in the COVID hotspot before returning to Brisbane, where they lied on their border declaration forms to avoid having to quarantine. They were out in the community for eight days before getting tested for the virus.

It’s caused Queensland’s first community transmission since May, and led to health alerts at 11 sites across Brisbane.

The pair have been the target of widespread public anger from the public who are understandably fearful of another outbreak, considering how quickly a second wave took over Victoria.

But while their decision to ignore health guidelines in the middle of a health emergency is deserving of criticism, a large majority of the vitriol being thrown their way has been racially-motivated.

Now the girls’ family have called out the media for the way they’ve covered the story, saying they would not have been so quick to publicly name the women if they weren’t black.

Yesterday their names and photos were splashed across front pages, with The Courier Mail labelling them ‘Enemies Of The State’.

The decision has been called massively hypocritical, given media outlets have previously decided not to name people responsible for other COVID-19 outbreaks — most notably the wealthy couple who refused to isolate after contracting the virus on an Aspen skiing holiday.

A Current Affair reporter Chris Allen spoke to the brother of one of the girls, who was clearly upset his sister had been identified in the media.

“It’s not something that we sat down and thought about yeah, it’s a fucking mistake,” he said. “I reckon if someone else did this yeah, that wasn’t of colour, you’d be fucking protecting them. You wouldn’t be doing all of this shit.

“Just because we’re fucking black, you all want to run all the way to the media, talking all of this shit bro.”

The mother of the other girl told the ABC she understood the public anger, but was upset that her daughter was being publicly vilified when other people who’d breached restrictions had not been named and shamed.

“Imagine if you have something like that, you don’t have any support and people treat you like a serious criminal,” she said.

“Nobody wants to give you support. She’s very sad. She is my daughter. She’s not an animal.”

The women are currently in quarantine, along with a third woman who also travelled with them. They have each been fined $4,000 and charged with fraud and providing false and misleading border documents.

They are due to appear in the Brisbane Magistrates Court on September 28.