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Protests Derail COVID Contact-Tracing Plans

Marchers packed like sardines flout Coronavirus rules and regulations.

“Now’s not the time to ease restrictions on individuals, meaning individuals shouldn’t be easing restrictions on themselves for the foreseeable future, for the next six, eight months,” Boston Mayor Marty Walsh stoutly declared on May 24, scuttling Memorial Day plans for some four million residents of his New England city.

“Wearing masks, physical distancing, social distancing, not being in large gatherings – all of that is so important to stopping the spread of this virus,” the mayor piously asserted. One week later, thousands of Bostonians packed the streets to protest the killing of a black man in police custody in Minneapolis, an event that has sparked violent rioting throughout the nation. “Tonight’s protests were motivated by a righteous desire for equality, justice, and accountability in our country,” Walsh tweeted out on May 31. “I see you. I hear you. I will use my voice for you.”

Did he also see the end of his Orwellian social curbs in the name of “health,” or will Walsh and Democrat office-holders like him persist in clamping down on the private behavior of individual citizens in churches and grocery store aisles, putting a mockery to words such as “equality” and “justice” after having seen his mandates flouted in the most flagrant of manners?

Medical Social Control Phrases Looted

“If we don’t wear face masks, if we don’t socially distance, if we sort of shrug this off as a plot, not a real threat to our family, we are going to be in a dangerous position in a beautiful community,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who briefly ran for the Democratic presidential nomination last year, told unfortunate residents of Yakima County on May 29. As his state slowly reopens under his ever-watchful presence, Inslee has mandated that those returning to work must wear masks if they are not alone.

Yet he has repeatedly praised the massive protests in Seattle and other parts of Washington following the death of George Floyd. Inslee decried violence at the protests that he claimed were carried out by only a few agitators but did not in any way rebuke marchers for their lack of social distancing. “[The May 30] disheartening events in Seattle – carried out by a smattering of the thousands of protesters on hand – will not deter the cause of justice,” Inslee said in a tweet.

As their little health autocracies evaporate, Democrat leaders are clinging to a paper-thin veneer of believability. In his June 1 press conference, Walsh touted efforts by city personnel to pass out masks to the estimated 20,000 people crowded together to protest. But in Minneapolis, Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington blamed rioting on “white supremacists,” stating that the city would be performing contact tracing on arrestees. Harrington was not talking about helping to stop the spread of what we have all been told for months is a highly contagious and lethal disease. No, he was referring to having police investigate online platforms to determine whether there is a network of white nationalists fueling the violence in Minnesota. Using Coronavirus medical terminology as a metaphor for harsh policing standards seems a natural fit for urban officials.

Common sense alone should tell anyone that you can’t keep track of contact data on 20,000 people gathered at one event. “[C]ontact tracers will use whatever pieces of information they can get to track down potential contacts,” said Pro Publica reported in a May 19 article on the procedures. “’You might say, “I talked to Bob at the grocery store, but I don’t know his last name,” then I will call the local grocery store and ask, “Do you have someone called Bob who works in the produce section?” Capt. Eric Pevzner, chief of the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service program, told the publication.

Great. Now go do that for every contact 20,000 people made while huddled close together in the streets of Boston. And this is just one day, one protest. The false illusion of control and even competence that medical “experts” who sought to impose rigid control mechanisms on the American people has been shattered in the face of human activity.

Race Card Boomerang

What a surprise. We’re not lab rats whose every action can be monitored, measured, and carefully guided. That it took massive protests against the killing of a black man to destroy this progressive medical dreamscape must be all the more vexing for Democrat elected officials who had been reveling in the unprecedented power they had been wielding over their subjects, er, constituents. After all, when Michiganders protested against the heavy-handed lockdown imposed on them by leftist Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the ugly specter of racism was freely used as a weapon against them.

New York Times columnist Jamie Bouie slammed lockdown opponents as operating on a “racial hierarchy.” “I don’t think you can separate the vehemence of anti-lockdown protesters from their whiteness, nor do I think we can divorce their demands to ‘reopen’ the economy from the knowledge that many of those most affected belong to other racial groups,” he wrote on May 8, stating that the Coronavirus disproportionately affected black and brown people. “And in the particular context of a deadly pandemic, the demand to be free of mutual obligation is, in essence, a demand to be free to die and threaten those around you with illness and death,” he added in excoriating the protesters as a potential lethal threat to their fellow Americans, most especially those of color.

“But what has been most glaringly obvious about [anti-lockdown] protests isn’t the far-right theatrics. It’s that almost everyone marching to end stay-at-home orders is white,” self-proclaimed “race scholar” Dr. Maia Niguel Hoskin wrote for Vox on April 25. “And if they do return to ‘regular life’ and refuse to distance themselves, their overt disregard will impact the population most vulnerable to the virus — black people.”

Don’t expect to hear these same people decrying George Floyd protesters as selfish ingrates whose actions may kill innocent people. But it will be interesting to see how long bullying Democrat governors and mayors will attempt to continue to crack down on little old ladies going to church amid the ashes of their riot-scarred fiefdoms.

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Read more from Joe Schaeffer.

Read More From Joe Schaeffer

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