Bill Barr likens Covid-19 lockdown to slavery, calls it 'greatest intrusions on civil liberties in US history'
The Attorney General lashed out at the prosecutors for acting as 'headhunters' while chasing prominent targets and handling cases that are politically charged
Attorney General William Barr is making the headlines regularly nowadays with his attacking remarks. The 70-year-old, who recently slammed the Democrats saying they were encouraging mob violence besides taking on the idea of mail-in voting during a radio interview in Chicago, has now compared the countrywide lockdown to deal with the coronavirus pandemic with slavery, saying it challenged civil liberties.
Barr’s controversial remarks came moments after he criticized his own justice department’s prosecutors while addressing a Constitution Day event hosted by Hillsdale College, Michigan, on Wednesday, September 16. The AG lashed out at the prosecutors for acting as “headhunters” while chasing prominent targets and handling cases that are politically charged.
Barr slams state governors for not allowing reopening
When the host of the event asked Barr about the “constitutional hurdles for forbidding a church from meeting during Covid-19”, Barr expressed his disapproval of the idea of lockdown. In a four-minute response, he said governors of states were using their executive powers to stop citizens and businesses to resume work. The Trump administration has been at loggerheads with several states, particularly the Democratic-governed ones, as their governors have refused to open in the wake of the outbreak that has affected more than 6.6 million people and killed nearly 200,000. The president and his allies have also wanted to open up schools saying children are least vulnerable to the virus but the idea has met with stiff resistance. The lockdown has left the American economy in a bad shape, seriously threatening Trump’s dream of winning the second term as he banked heavily on a well-running economy to defeat his critics.
“You know, putting a national lockdown, stay at home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,” Barr said to get applauded by the audience. President Trump has found himself facing severe criticism over his handling of the pandemic. A new book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has revealed that the president admitted that the virus was deadly but yet he downplayed it because he did not want people to panic.
Presidential biographer John Meacham told CNN that Barr’s words were “incendiary hyperbole designed to feed a sense of paranoia and fear on behalf of the administration and is relying not on a message or any agenda of hope grounded in traditional American understandings of liberty and is instead betting on finding just the right number of Americans in the right number of states who will say: ‘Yay, we were scared, we were made. We won a tough guy’.” In the recent radio interview, Barr though said that as an AG, he is not supposed to get into politics, yet he has been found taking aggressive stances to defend the Trump administration. He has also expressed fear that if Trump does not win the November 3 election against Joe Biden, then the US could end up going towards the path of socialism.