As The Daily Citizen recently reported, thousands of Americans gathered over the weekend at various state Capitols to protest their states’ stay-at-home orders, and petition their governors to reopen their economies.
At a Colorado protest, one father brought his children and said he was there because he, “has mouths to feed.” And one woman protesting in Maryland held a sign which read, “I want to save my business! I need to work to live.”
Yet, some in the media have blasted these protesters as racists, part of a “Nazi, confederate death-cult” and as wanting thousands of people to die.
“They’ve gone from all lives matter to no lives matter,” said Sports Nation editor Dave Zirin while speaking about the protesters as a guest on MSNBC’s ‘AM Joy’ show with Joy Reid. “These folks, let’s be honest about what they are, they are the Fox News, Nazi, confederate death cult rump of the Republican Party. So, this represents nothing except the hard-racist interests that combine and form the modern-day Republican Party.”
During the same segment, show host Joy Reid said, “Trump is trying to make China the new Mexico. The new scary non-white people are the Chinese. So it’s like he’s still trying to use that same racial trope. It’s the same playbook again.”
Michael Harriot, a writer at The Root, chimed in to the conversation also alleging that the protesters were racist. “I think it is more than just ‘I don’t care about these black and brown people who are dying,’” Harriot said. “I think that what they’re saying quite clearly is, ‘I want more black and brown people to die.’”
Also, late-night host Jimmy Kimmel, during his opening monologue on Monday night, accused the protesters of being suicidal. “I’m starting to think that these characters who support Trump might be suicidal,” Kimmel said. “They seem to fight hardest for the things that will kill them. They want freedom to gather in large groups during an epidemic. They want guns. They want pollution. I figured it out. They want to die and they’re taking us down with them.”
CNN political analyst April Ryan mused on Twitter whether those who attend the protests should be forced to decline medical treatment at hospitals if they contract the coronavirus. Ryan wrote, “Should protestors who endanger other Americans by not following the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines about physical distancing be required to sign a waiver refusing medical attention at a hospital and not take up a ventilator if they contract coronavirus?”
In a statement to The Daily Citizen, Kay C. James, president of The Heritage Foundation and chairman of the National Coronavirus Recovery Commission, said, “In the midst of this crisis, people who aren’t hurt by the virus are hurt by job loss and isolation, so it’s understandable that Americans are frustrated. But all Americans need to understand that a nation decimated by disease cannot have a functioning economy, and a catastrophic loss of jobs wreaks horrific damage on both mental and physical health. We must treat the virus and the economic damage it’s inflicting on America as twin foes, and we must defeat them both.”
According to Gallup, the media is the least-trusted American institution in its handling of the coronavirus. Forty-four percent of Americans approve of the media’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic whereas 55% disapprove.
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