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June 3, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – The riots and protests that have engulfed many American cities over the past week, and the instances of police brutality that inspired the latter, have pushed the coronavirus out of the spotlight, but its effects on society can be seen even amidst the devastating unrest.
The liberal commentators and journalists who last month frantically condemned peaceful anti-lockdown protestors, some armed, are now silent on the protestors and rioters in dozens of U.S. cities who are either not practicing “social distancing” or are actually using various weapons to injure and kill others.
Some who were able to return to work as lockdowns began to ease now again face unemployment or financial ruin as the establishments into which they’d put their lives were destroyed, burned, or looted.
However, Robby Soave explained at Reason, “some state and local authorities have given every indication that the COVID-19 lockdowns will continue for small businesses, churches, and anyone else whose cause for leaving the home does not strike the government as sufficiently noble.”
On Monday, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) thanked state residents for protesting the unjust police killing of George Floyd in large numbers, and commended them for participating in “the transformational moment of our time,” even though New Jersey's coronavirus mitigation plan calls for people to gather outside in groups of no more than 25—and in fact, state authorities have fined citizens for organizing anti-lockdown protests. But for Murphy, the two forms of protest are “in different orbits.”
“I don't want to make light of this, and I'll probably get lit up by everyone who owns a nail salon in the state,” said Murphy. “But it's one thing to protest what day nail salons are opening, and it's another to come out in peaceful protest, overwhelmingly, about somebody who was murdered right before our eyes.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said “an entire nation, simultaneously grappling with an extraordinary crisis seated in 400 years of American racism…is not the same question as the understandably aggrieved store owner or the devout religious person who wants to go back to services.”
This attitude toward stores owners and religious Americans was on display in April, when police in Raleigh, North Carolina turned up at a decidedly conservative and libertarian-leaning anti-lockdown protest and arrested one person. The city’s police department came under fire for tweeting, “Protesting is a non-essential activity” (screenshot here), a statement many said at the time flies in the face of the First Amendment. The department defended its tweet, saying it was simply following orders. Those who criticized anti-lockdown protestors accused them of not caring about the vulnerable.
“Whether one person's cause for going outside is noble while another person’s cause is selfish makes absolutely no difference to the coronavirus,” Soave added.
On June 2, LifeSiteNews encountered three groups of a dozen or more Washington, D.C. policemen, none of whom were wearing masks while socializing (see above photo). They appeared to have just finished working for the day or be waiting for protestors.
Another Reason article titled, Did COVID-19 Lockdown Orders Help Fuel Riots Nationwide?, noted, “Millions of people out of a job and stuck at home for months is a recipe for civil unrest.”
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, whose coronavirus lockdown was one of the most draconian in the country, has begun to partially ease her restrictions.
The Associated Press reports, “France is rolling out an official COVID-19 contact-tracing app aimed at containing fresh outbreaks as lockdown restrictions gradually ease, becoming the first major European country to deploy smartphone technology amid simmering debates over data privacy.”
On Monday, Politico warned about hurricane season colliding with the coronavirus: “Officials from Florida to Missouri are hurriedly rewriting their disaster plans, worried that crowding large groups of evacuees in shelters could spread coronavirus during what’s expected to be a busy hurricane and tornado season…emergency management officials fear a terrible combination of natural disasters could lead to a fresh spread of the coronavirus — and that the pandemic could, in turn, set back their work.”
The head of intensive care at the San Raffaele hospital in Milan, Italy, said Sunday that “in reality, from the clinical point of view, the virus no longer exists.” Italian health and World Health Organization officials disagreed and rebuked him.