WASHINGTON, DC – Champaign County GOP Representative Jim Jordan had a combative exchange on Friday with Anthony Fauci, longtime director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, to find out whether protests against violence policewoman in the country are spreading the coronavirus.
Fauci, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield and HHS Deputy Secretary Brett Giroir testified before the House Special Committee on Coronavirus on Friday. Other members of the bipartisan committee roasted them on topics such as the development of a vaccine against the virus, the safety of reopening schools and President Donald Trump’s handling of the crisis.
Jordan, a Trump ally co-founder of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, has used his time to speak out against government limits on church gatherings and business operations during the pandemic, while Black Lives Matter protests against violence policewoman are allowed.
Jordan argued that allowing protests while suppressing religious services is tantamount to favoring one First Amendment freedom over another. He asked Fauci if the protests are spreading the coronavirus.
“Coming together, especially when you’re not wearing a mask, helps the virus spread. Fauci replied.
“Should we limit the protests?” Jordan continued.
“I am not in a position to determine what the government can aggressively do,” Fauci replied.
“I didn’t see people during a church service come out and hurt police officers or burn buildings,” Jordan continued. “There is no limit to demonstrations, but you cannot go to church on Sunday. “
Jordan said Fauci had advocated “closing some businesses, arguing he hadn’t” seen a barber who, between hairstyles, come out and attack the police or set something on fire, but we have seen all kinds of things. things during the protests and we know that the protests have actually increased the spread of the virus. You said that.
“I said crowds,” Fauci said. “I didn’t say protests do anything… Crowds are known, especially when you don’t have a mask on. to increase acquisition and transmission. “
After Jordan’s conclusion, Maryland Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin noted that a recent Supreme Court ruling ruled constitutional to limit the number of people who can attend a church service, provided the same rule s ‘applies to other events such as concerts, films, sports-spectators and theatrical performances. Raskin, a constitutional law professor who often clashes with Jordan, observed that several large religious gatherings ended up being “super-broadcaster” events.
“There is no religious immunity to this disease, and there is no free exercise exemption for universal public health orders,” said Raskin, who posted a video of his remarks on Twitter with a statement saying he wanted to “dispel the thick fog of constitutional confusion left by Jim Jordan’s shameful heckling against Dr. Fauci.”
Raskin said people who attend Black Lives Matter protests typically wear masks and follow social distancing protocols, so they’re less likely to spread coronavirus than protesters who oppose public health protocols .
“If you’re really concerned about the protests and people are getting sick there, and we should be, then we need to consider the use of tear gas and pepper spray,” said Raskin, who said that the police had removed the masks of the demonstrators in order to spray them with chemical irritants that will make them sneeze and cough. “It’s the use of these chemical irritants, I think, that is the real danger.”
Trump was more satisfied with Jordan’s performance.
“Great work from Jim Jordan, and also great statements from Tony Fauci,” Trump said in a statement on Twitter. “Great progress is being made!”
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