Across America, there are plenty of people who reject facts and insist that their own narratives are the real truth, about matters from the shape of the earth, to the nation’s political history, to the COVID-19 pandemic. Ideally, though, conspiracy theorists and science-rejecters aren’t permitted to shape public policy.
When it comes to COVID-19, however, far-right politicians are embracing deniers, and in the case of the trucker convoy protest, which is demanding an end to nonexistent safety precautions, multiple extremists in Congress have actually met with the group to encourage them and lend false credence to their views.
No wonder, then, that a group meeting with Representative Jim Jordan (R-OH) felt they could title themselves the new arbiters of science for America, and declare the pandemic over.
A convoy leader to Republican Congressman Jim Jordan: “The trucker has become the scientist for America now …COVID is over.” pic.twitter.com/o0clLTuWLW
— PatriotTakes 🇺🇸 (@patriottakes) March 16, 2022
Jordan even tells them that the country appreciates their activism, and implies that there is widespread agreement on the matter, though a Washington Post report from earlier this month demonstrates otherwise, citing a poll in which a majority of Americans think that some restrictions still need to be in place to get the virus under control, only a third deeming the virus at least mostly under control, and a mere 6% considering it to be completely under control at this point.
According to Daily Beast reporter Zachary Petrizzo, the group has been complaining about being denied a permit to camp on the National Mall, and have been making their base outside D.C. instead, but mostly they’ve merely succeeded in annoying the commuters who are actually obligated to make their daily travels on the beltway.
Still, there are hints of the potential for serious violence, ranging from boxing in vehicles after drivers indicate a lack of support through a single-finger gesture, to punching the window of one vehicle. They’ve also hinted at greater potential for harm in their rhetoric, discussing “breaking” police phone lines, and salivating over the “extremely enticing” idea of entering D.C. to “tear the fence down at the White House and hang politicians.”
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com