Not all protests are equal. Fox News’ Tucker Carlson has excoriated the medical establishment for giving its blessing to Black Lives Matter protesters, having condemned the anti-lockdown protests just weeks earlier.
The coronavirus pandemic left in its wake an unprecedented crackdown on civil liberties and freedom of movement in the US. Medical experts backed the lockdown measures, arguing that public health trumped normality, and they said putting the brakes on the US economy was necessary to stave off literally millions of deaths.
“They were lying. We always thought they were lying and now we know for sure,” Fox News host Tucker Carlson declared on Friday. “Because today we have an open letter signed by more that 1,200 doctors, professionals and public health officials. And it explains that the riots you’re watching must be allowed, but any other demonstration… must be suppressed.”
The letter in question was written by a collection of infectious disease researchers at the University of Washington, and urged support for protests – but only protests against “systemic racism.”
When armed and “predominantly white” demonstrators turned up at the Michigan State Capitol to protest Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s controversial stay-at-home order, the letter’s authors wrote that they “privately mourned” the division between the public and the scientific community.
Now, with protests and riots engulfing the US’ major cities for nearly two weeks, the experts “support them as vital to the national public health.”
“White supremacy is a lethal public health issue that predates and contributes to Covid-19,” they wrote, arguing that protests against stay-home orders are “rooted in white nationalism” and must be opposed.
Despite their show of support for one kind of protest, the experts still cautioned that local and state governments should “prepare for an increased number of infections in the days following a protest.”
“These are public health officials,” Carlson remarked. “This is insanity. Just days ago you were told that any kind of gathering could kill thousands of people. You would be a murderer. You would be a genocidal murderer. That is before we learned that viruses have their own woke political agenda.”
Carlson was torched on Twitter for his opinion, a regular occurrence for the iconoclastic Fox host. However, he isn’t the only commentator arguing against the apparent double standard. Twitter users unloaded this week on a crowd of nurses in New York who emerged from hospitals to applaud a parade of ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrators marching by, weeks after accusing the lockdown protesters of murdering their own relatives.
Despite the scientific community’s best efforts to argue otherwise, the coronavirus does not discriminate politically. Dr Anthony Fauci, President Donald Trump’s coronavirus adviser, wrote on Sunday that the George Floyd demonstrations could kickstart a deadly second wave of infections.
“As I sat in front of the TV and watched the screen go from Washington DC to New York City to Los Angeles to Philadelphia, I got really concerned,” he told the Sunday Times, calling the demonstrations a “perfect recipe” for a surge in cases.
Demonstrations, meanwhile, are expected to continue. A massive crowd descended on the White House on Saturday and protests were held in other US cities and around the globe, with little concern for the social distancing everyone was obsessing about only days earlier.
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