Politics Biden blasts Barr's comments comparing coronavirus lockdowns to slavery as 'sick' and 'outrageous'
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- Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday night slammed Attorney General William Barr for likening coronavirus-related restrictions to slavery.
- "What Bill Barr recently said is outrageous," Biden said during a CNN town hall event. "Quite frankly, they're sick."
- Barr described stay-at-home orders as the "greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history," apart from slavery.
Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday sharply rebuked Attorney General William Barr for comparing coronavirus-related lockdowns to slavery.
The stunning hypocrisy of Bill Barr
The attorney general delivered a controversial speech Wednesday.Yet just hours before, news broke that Barr had asked Justice Department prosecutors to explore charging rioters with the rarely invoked crime of sedition — and that he’d even asked officials to explore whether they could criminally charge the Democratic mayor of Seattle for failing to quickly crack down on an “autonomous zone” protesters established there earlier this summer.
"What Bill Barr recently said is outrageous," Biden told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper during a town hall event. "Quite frankly, they're sick."
Barr made the comments in question on Wednesday, saying, "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."
President Donald Trump chose not to impose a nationwide lockdown order, even though leading health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci toldthat the US "really should be" on a federally mandated lockdown. Instead, governors came up with a patchwork of restrictions in a bid to control the spread of the virus, while Trump called on state leaders to "liberate" Americans and reopen businesses and schools.
James Clyburn: Barr's remark comparing lockdowns to slavery is 'the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I've ever heard'
House Majority Whip James Clyburn on Thursday slammed Attorney General William Barr for comparing coronavirus lockdowns in the US to slavery, saying the comments are "the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I've ever heard.""You know, I think that that statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I've ever heard," Clyburn, the No. 3 Democrat in the House and its highest-ranking Black member, told CNN's John Berman on "New Day." "It is incredible that (the) chief law enforcement officer in this country would equate human bondage to expert advice to save lives. Slavery was not about saving lives, it was about devaluing lives.
According to Biden, Trump's mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic forced Americans to give up their civil liberties.
"You lost your freedom, because he didn't act," Biden said. "The freedom to go to that ball game, the freedom of your kid to go to school, the freedom to see your mom or dad in the hospital, the freedom just to walk around your neighborhood because of failure to act responsibly."
Other Democrats, includingalso condemned Barr's remarks.
"That statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I've ever heard," Clyburn told.
Gallery: These are some of the conspiracy theories and fringe views floated by scheduled speakers at this year's Republican National Convention (Business Insider)
Mary Ann Mendoza, a member of the Women for Trump campaign group, spread an anti-Semitic conspiracy theory on Twitter the day of her speech
Anti-abortion activist Abby Johnson said it would be 'smart' for the police to racially profile her adopted son because of 'statistics'
Johnson floated the idea of 'household votes,' in which married couples would only get one vote because 'in a Godly household, the husband would get the final say.'
St. Louis couple Mark and Patricia McCloskey: Democrats want to spread 'chaos and violence' and 'abolish the suburbs all together'
Florida congressman Matt Gaetz: Democrats and 'woketopians' will 'disarm you, empty the prisons, lock you in your home, and invite MS-13 to live next door'
Fact-checking Biden's CNN town hall .
CNN hosted a drive-in town hall with 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden in Pennsylvania on Thursday night. It was Biden's first prime time town hall since accepting the nomination. © Gabriella Demczuk for CNN Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden speaks at the CNN Presidential Town Hall in Scranton, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, September 17, 2020. (Gabriella Demczuk for CNN) Over the course of the night, Biden took questions ranging from farming regulations, the military presence in Afghanistan, to how he would approach the coronavirus pandemic.