‘Some of those basic liberties are going to be truncated for a brief period. Most Americans understand the need for that…’
(Ben Sellers, Liberty Headlines) The recent “social distancing” and closures of major events may be wise practices in the effort to contain the highly contagious coronavirus, but radical left-wing reactionaries have, predictably, taken it to the extreme in their hopes of tanking the economy and the Trump presidency.
After schools in many states announced closures, major sporting events and even religious services were canceled, public officials encouraged those that could to stay home and avoid risking contact that might spread the virus.
However, some detractors, such as Rep. Devin Nunes, doubted that the mass-quarantine was warranted, and noted that the economic toll of the proposals would make the cure worse than the disease.
Nunes told Fox News host Maria Bartiromo on Sunday that the hysteria had gotten out of hand.
“There’s no shortage of food in this country,” he said. “People don’t need to go to the store and fight over bottled water or toilet paper. … We need to focus all of our energy on our senior population with underlying health concerns.”
Moreover, he said, the emphasis on fear of contracting the disease rather than prioritizing treatment of at-risk populations was just one of the alarming dangers posed by overreacting.
“There’s a lot of concerns with the economy here because people are scared to go out,” he said. “But I will just say, one of the things you can do—if you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easily.”
Left-wing pundits freaked out at Nunes’s suggestion that those in good health continue business as usual in order to support retailers and restaurants that were being forced to shutter due to newly imposed regulations and mass panic.
Their shaming was not limited to Republicans. Some articles, like one from the Reno Gazette Journal, sought to call out tourists who were continuing to gather in Las Vegas.
It is unclear whether the pressure of the public shaming or legitimate concerns led hotels such as Wynn Resorts and MGM to announce Monday that they planned to close their doors and undergo a deep-clean. But on Monday, the Las Vegas Review-Journal announced that the iconic Sahara hotel had begun layoffs. Other articles also seemed to gloat over the economic impact that the virus was expected to have on Sin City.
Naturally, one of those helping lead the way in shaming businesses for staying open was leftist entertainer Rosie O’Donnell.
— ROSIE (@Rosie) March 16, 2020
Others on the Left projected their own agendas onto the supposed crisis, calling for drastic overreactions from opening the borders and discontinuing deportations (ironically, Mexico has said it may tighten its borders to avoid U.S. exposure) to lifting sanctions on Iran that were imposed to block its funding of Middle East terrorism, to enacting a “Coronavirus New Deal” to socialize the economy while they force the free-market to a halt.
??This. And train more people to care for our patients on ventilators.
— Dr. Dena Grayson (@DrDenaGrayson) March 16, 2020
Sen. Mitt Romney wants to give working Americans $1,000 each month to help during the coronavirus outbreak.
Find the latest updates on coronavirus in Utah here:https://t.co/yQyZRVbMWJ
— The Salt Lake Tribune (@sltrib) March 16, 2020
Most alarmingly, many seemed to be fine with leaders advocating for the suspension of constitutional rights—such as the Freedom of Assembly and the Freedom of Religion—during the crisis.
An article from the Sacramento Bee raised the issue by citing health officials who claimed public health crises superceded Constitutional authority.
“You don’t have a right to assemble against the backdrop of known public health risk,” James G. Hodge, director of the Center for Public Health Law and Policy at Arizona State University, told McClatchy News.
Hodge said declaring a state of emergency, as President Donald Trump did on Friday, allowed officials to “expedite” their procedures by suspending the normal legal process.
“It’s not that we don’t have time for First Amendment interests, it’s that we must act fast,” he said. “What was opened today can be closed tomorrow.”
California, meanwhile, sought to go beyond the abridgment of First Amendment freedoms by crossing into Third Amendment “illegal quartering” territory with a threat to commandeer hotels.
“Some of those basic liberties are going to be truncated for a brief period,” Hodge said. “Most Americans understand the need for that.”
It raises considerable questions, however, as to when—with many governors and mayors declaring “indefinite” suspensions—they expect to resume normal proceedings, and what the lingering fallout may be once the virus runs its course.