September 9, 2021



Dr. Kerry Chant, the Chief Health Officer of New South Wales, sent social media into a frenzy on Thursday, after she referred to a post-lockdown “new world order” during a Covid-19 press conference.

After State Premier Gladys Berejiklian had unveiled her administration’s plan for Greater Sydney’s path to freedom out of lockdown, Dr. Chant revealed the new vaccine requirements for workers and customers when the city reopens.

Both parties at reopened businesses would have to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19, Dr. Chant announced, and workplaces would “have some system of checking that.” But it was her next comment that really stirred up a storm.

We will be looking at what contact tracing looks like in the new world order.

Though the term “new world order” has been used by politicians including former US president George H. W. Bush, former US secretary of state Henry Kissinger, and former UK prime minister Tony Blair, for decades, it has also been the subject of a major conspiracy theory that there is a secret, behind-the-scenes plot to form an oppressive world government that would limit citizens’ liberty.

Following Dr. Chant’s remark, “new world order” began to trend on Twitter in both Australia and the United Kingdom.

“Government officials would be well advised to avoid phrases like ‘the new world order’ when they’re talking at press conferences about massive limitations on people’s freedoms,” tweeted former journalist Chris Urquhart, while political analyst Eddy Jokovich noted that they were “maybe not the best choice of words.”

Others pointed out that it wasn’t the first time an NSW official had used the term during a coronavirus pandemic press conference, with Minister for Health Brad Hazzard having described the pandemic as a “new world order” in July 2020.

“This is a world pandemic, it’s a one in a 100-year event, so you can expect that we will have transmission from time to time, and that’s just the way it is. We’ve got to accept that this is the new world order,” Hazzard said during a conference, following an outbreak of cases.

In another conference, Hazzard mistakenly referenced the term, saying, “We must treat this new world order… this new world of Covid. We must treat this new world of Covid, even in our own homes, with a high level of care and caution.”

ABC reported last month that Hazzard’s statements had sparked a wave of conspiracy theory videos on the video-sharing platform TikTok.

Sydney has experienced some of the world’s longest and strictest coronavirus restrictions. The NSW state capital has been in a continuous lockdown since June of this year.