Donald Trump cannot hold his Nuremberg-style MAGA cult rallies during the coronavirus pandemic when his own administration has issued social distancing guidelines to keep public gatherings to 10 people or less.
But his campaign has found a work-around for his sycophant MAGA cult followers to hold their own campaign rallies in praise of “Dear Leader,” ostensibly in support of his reckless and irresponsible plan to reopen the economy too soon before the spread of the coronavirus has been contained.
In states like Ohio (above), Michigan (below), North Carolina and Kentucky, Trump supporters protested against social distancing rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus as a roundabout way of holding their own Trump campaign rallies, because they can never get enough of this: Chanting ‘lock her up,’ Michigan protesters waving Trump flags mass against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus restrictions.
“It’s my right to have the freedom to risk my own life if I want to!” Well, you asshole, it’s not your right to be a Shutdown Snowflake super-spreader of the coronavirus among innocent people who do not share your MAGA death cult fatalism and risk their lives. You have no right to be a public health threat to others.
Governor Doug Ducey (R-AZ) not only has the legal authority but the duty to protect the public health and safety of Arizonans against these Shutdown Snowflakes. Here’s a helpful reminder, Guv, I’m sure you got the memo. People who intentionally spread coronavirus could be prosecuted under federal anti-terrorism laws, DOJ official says:
People who intentionally spread COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, could face prosecution under federal anti-terrorism laws, a Department of Justice official said in a memo obtained by Politico.
The official, Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen, wrote to other US attorneys and federal law enforcement professionals that “purposeful exposure and infection of others with COVID-19” could violate federal laws against proliferating bio-weapons.
Rosen said that because “coronavirus appears to meet the statutory definition of a ‘biological agent’,” people intentionally spreading the virus “potentially could implicate the Nation’s terrorism-related statutes,” according to Politico, adding: “Threats or attempts to use COVID-19 as a weapon against Americans will not be tolerated.”
So watcha gonna do, Guv, watcha gonna do?
The Arizona Mirror reports, Rally to ‘re-open’ Arizona planned in defiance of COVID-19 stay-at-home order:
Conservatives angry about the economic damage caused by Gov. Doug Ducey’s COVID-19 executive order closing nonessential businesses and ordering Arizonans to stay home are planning an April 20 rally across the street from the Capitol to call on the governor to “re-open” Arizona.
Who is behind the rally is unknown [see below], and it is unclear if it will be conducted in a manner that complies with Ducey’s executive order, which allows for constitutionally protected activities – such as a protest – provided attendees practice social distancing to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“This is a gathering of patriots [sic], not an organized event by any group or individual. We will each be responsible for ourselves and practice physical distancing to the extent feasible,” Michelle Dillard, a member of the group Purple for Parents, said on Twitter when questioned how the rally would abide by social distancing set out by Ducey’s executive order.
The Arizona Department of Administration, which oversees Wesley Bolin Plaza, has not received any permit requests for the area for April 20, ADOA spokeswoman Megan Rose told Arizona Mirror.
Dillard’s tweet with the flyer has been shared widely along with the with the hashtags “#SCAMdemic2020” and “#CoronaFacism.”
And there you have it, the Coronavirus Denier movement: it’s a scam. Wait, Trump-loving Republican Governor Ducey is a fascist to these people? That should tell you just how fringey these people are.
“Join fellow patriots [sic] who support the constitution, liberty, & re-opening the Arizona economy,” the flyer reads.
Dillard and others on social media have said that any attempts to block the rally would be in violation of Ducey’s executive order. [WRONG!] However, Ducey’s order restricts gatherings larger than 10 people [as does “President Trump’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America].
So are you Shutdown Snowflakes going to defy your “Dear Leader” as well?
“Practicing physical distancing is saving lives in our community and around the world,” Annie DeGraw, spokeswoman for Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, said in a statement to the Mirror. “We ask that residents continue to adhere to the advice of medical experts to help protect public health.”
Scott Weinberg, a candidate for the Kyrene School District governing board, has been tweeting out the flyer and calling the Phoenix Police Department “brown shirts”, a reference to the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party, for implementing closures of Phoenix parks.
Who in their right mind would want this guy anywhere near their children or school?
Weinberg has been widely advocating for the rally online, stating that if he gets sick at the rally, he has health insurance. In one tweet, he called a critic of the rally online “dumb and unattractive.”
That’s all you got? Bring it! The readers of this blog would love the opportunity to dunk on you with some creative insults.
A petition has also been circulating with a link to a website, reopenarizona.com. The website was registered April 9, and although the website was registered anonymously, it redirects to an email signup page paid for by U.S. Senate candidate Daniel McCarthy. The email signup page is titled “Declaration to Stop the Shutdown” and it accuses “detached mayors, bureaucrats and politicians” of convincing Ducey to issue his stay-at-home order “for their own political and personal gain.”
McCarthy said his campaign has nothing to do with the rally, and refused to comment further. He ended the interview after accusing the Mirror of attempting to write a hit piece.
Far-right groups have been latching onto the rally and the movement, with people like Restricted Republic’s Lisa Haven tweeting out to her over 11,000 followers that she plans to attend.
Restricted Republic has pushed conspiracy theories, and has published claims on its subscriber-based website that people like Bill Gates have a financial interest in the COVID-19 pandemic and that the virus is a ruse for establishing a one world government.
Similar rallies have been occuring in other states.
* * *
Dillard shared a link to a similar protest that aims to take place in Texas over the weekend, as well.
The “reality based community,” many of whom would be the innocent victims of these Shutdown Snowflake super-spreaders if they go ahead with their clusterfuck rally, beg to differ with these insane people.
Seven out of 10 Americans said they would not feel comfortable going to a sporting event until a vaccine is created for COVID-19, and even with 78 vaccine projects in the works, it could still be up to a year or more before a vaccine is ready for consumers.
Economists say this means that even if the country was “opened up” and restrictions were lifted, many Americans would still be weary and economic progress will be slow.
“You can’t just turn the light switch on and have everyone go back to work, as much as businesses would love to do that,” Suzanne Clark, the president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce,told The New York Times. “It’s going to be the opposite of a green light. It’s going to go from red to yellow and then green.”
Gov. Ducey has also signaled that, although he is eager to re-open Arizona’s economy, but won’t do so until it is absolutely safe.
“At the appropriate time, when it’s safe, we will begin to re-energize the economy,” Ducey said April 14.“It’s not like turning off a light switch and turning on a light switch.”
So are these fringey wingnuts going to be carrying signs demanding “Recall Governor Ducey” like they did for Ohio governor Mike DeWine (R) and Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer (D)?
The personality cult of Donald Trump is a death cult that hates everyone, apparently.
The Arizona Mirror may not who specifically is behind the Arizona rally, but Sophia Tesfaye at Salon has researched the earlier rallies and finds it is the “usual suspects” from the astroturf Tea Party movement. Trump’s Tea Party: Are right-wing “open the country” protests an AstroTurf operation?:
Similar protests took place in Kentucky on Wednesday, directed at Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s stay-at-home order and organized by a onetime political appointee of former Republican Gov. Matt Bevin. The GOP operative recently made headlines for claiming, without evidence, that Beshear defeated Bevin last November due to vote “hacking.”
On Tuesday, more than 100 protesters in Raleigh, North Carolina, came together to oppose Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s stay-at-home order. The protest was organized through a private Facebook group named #ReOpenNC started by a stay-at-home mother who told the Raleigh News & Observer that she is “against mandatory vaccination” [an anti-vaxxer]. The group said it plans to hold weekly rallies, a promise also made by the 100-plus protesters who interrupted Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine, a Republican, on Monday.
So who is behind the sudden sprouting of right-wing resistance? Unlike with the Tea Party movement of the recent past, the mega-donors behind today’s right-wing rallies are making no effort to hide their involvement.
FreedomWorks, the instrumental force behind the Tea Party, “is holding weekly virtual town halls with members of Congress, igniting an activist base of thousands of supporters across the nation to back up the effort” led by right-wing commentator Stephen Moore. the Associated Press reported. Other right-wing groups vocally opposing shutdowns include Americans for Prosperity, an organization funded by the Koch brothers, and the conservative Heritage Foundation.
There is even a connection to the family of Trump’s Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos. As Michigan’s governor noted, the DeVos family foundation helped fund Facebook ads for this week’s protest. While noting that the Education Secretary ended her political spending when she joined Trump’s Cabinet, a spokesperson for the family took a swipe at Whitmer. “They understand the frustration of fellow Michiganders, however, as elements of the governor’s top-down approach appear to go beyond public safety,” Nick Wasmiller told MLive, adding that “Michigan deserves competent governance.”
Trump’s acting director of national intelligence, Richard Grenell, posted an image to social media on Wednesday suggesting that stay-at-home orders were unconstitutional. That same day, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, “We’ve gotta reopen, and when we do the coronavirus is gonna spread faster.” Rep. Trey Hollingsworth told an Indianapolis radio station on Wednesday that it was time for lawmakers to put on their “big-boy and big-girl pants” and prioritize “the American way of life” over the lives of actual Americans. “It is not zero evil, but it is the lesser of these two evils,” Hollingsworth said, “and we intend to move forward that direction.”
And, of course, there is FOX News aka Trump TV. Fox News is promoting protests against social distancing measures: “God bless them”. Trump has been watching his “shadow cabinet” echo chamber on Trump TV today. Trump tweets praise of right-wing protests against social distancing measures after Fox segment.
This redirected right-wing rage comes as Trump continues to change direction, hoping to find a pandemic response that makes him look like a leader. Whether this so-called protest movement is orchestrated by his campaign or not — and that seems highly plausible — ultimately it’s a PR stunt conducted on his behalf, meant to avoid a grim new reality as the bodies pile up.
Tesfaye has this great reminder for Arizona’s Shutdown Snowflakes:
Recall that after Trump’s election, Republican state legislatures rushed to pass laws restricting the right to protest. In Arizona, where right-wing protests against shelter-in-place orders are scheduled for this weekend, Republicans tried to pass a bill allowing police to arrest anyone involved in a nonviolent demonstration. Now the same people who rally around a “back the blue” campaign whenever police shoot an unarmed black person or when anti-fascists take to the streets are righteously exercised about civil liberties.
Maybe the Phoenix Police should treat these Shutdown Snowflakes the same way they treat “Antifa” protestors, just to keep everything fair and square and equal treatment.