House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) blasted Attorney General William Barr’s notion that a nationwide lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19, an effective measure had it actually been implemented, would be “the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”
Barr shared his views at a “Constitution Day” celebration at the conservative Hillsdale College in Michigan Wednesday night.
On Thursday, Clyburn, the highest-ranking black lawmaker in the House, fiercely denounced Barr and ripped into the Trump Administration’s lethally incompetent mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic, on track to claim 200,000 American lives this weekend.
The United States also has 6.653 million recorded COVID-19 cases, the most in the world, and that number is increasing daily.
“You know, I think that that statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I’ve ever heard,” Clyburn, told host John Berman on CNN’s New Day. “It is incredible that (the) chief law enforcement officer in this country would equate human bondage to expert advice to save lives. Slavery was not about saving lives, it was about devaluing lives. This pandemic is a threat to human life and the experts – the medical experts, the scientists, are telling us what it takes to respond successfully to this pandemic.”
But President Donald Trump, with Barr as his champion, has downplayed the pandemic and turned to unqualified television personalities to propogate misleading and often completely false information about COVID-19.
If “God-awful duo” Trump and Barr were “going about the business of doing what is necessary to protect the people of this great country, we would be beyond this pandemic by now. Those countries that did it? They are beyond it now,” Clyburn continued.
“Those of us who ignored it… it would have been great if we had a national lockdown so that people’s lives would be saved and our children will be going on with their lives today, as they should be,” Clyburn said. “Two people in charge of running the law enforcement of this country are absolutely tone-deaf to what it takes to be great leaders,” Clyburn added. “They are driving this country into a direction that no one ever thought they would see in our lifetime.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.