Democrat Leaders Behind Strict Lockdowns Suddenly Silent On Social Distancing Amid George Floyd Protests

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This article has been updated to include a recent statement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo in which he warned that protests over the death of George Floyd may contribute to the spread of coronavirus.

The irony isn’t lost on anyone paying attention that, after several months of shaming and threatening Americans who flout coronavirus lockdown orders, Democratic leaders across the nation have shelved their calls for social distancing in support of hordes of individuals protesting the death in police custody of George Floyd.

While Floyd’s death—and that of every other like it—was an assault on justice, the brazen inconsistency among pro-lockdown Democrats is startling.

Back in April, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio threatened a massive funeral procession of Orthodox Jews mourning a rabbi who had passed away from COVID-19 with summonses and arrests if they did not disperse. His press secretary, Freddi Goldstein, empathized with mourners but called their gathering “absolutely unacceptable.”

Over the weekend, de Blasio took to the streets himself to dialogue with residents.

Again, it’s not wrong at all for de Blasio to hear from his constituents on the streets—nor was it wrong for a procession of mask-wearing Orthodox Jews to mourn a rabbi.

“The death of George Floyd is not an isolated incident,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who only recently relaxed his ban on in-person gatherings to allow up to ten people. “It is part of a continuum of outrage and inequality. That is the reason for the rage, the frustration, the anger and the fear. The demand is for Justice. Over and over and over again.”

Over the weekend, Gov. Cuomo’s state was slammed with what began as peaceful protests but, after dark, devolved into violence and theft.

Even the peaceful protests within the state, which were massive, gave Cuomo cause for concern as the state slowly proceeds with its phased reopening.

“We don’t even know the consequence for the COVID virus of those mass gatherings,” Cuomo said at his daily coronavirus briefing on Monday. “We don’t even know. We won’t know, possibly for weeks, the nature of the virus. How many super spreaders were in the crowd?”

In Virginia, Governor Ralph Northam, who has also put a chokehold on in-person gatherings in the Old Dominion since March, lamented the “sad and emotional week, with too many violent and blatant reminders of how far our country is from genuine equity and fair treatment.”

Absent from his tweets was any call for protesters to practice social distancing.

Meanwhile, in Detroit, Friday saw massive protests that eventually grew violent as rioters and police clashed.

“We know that this demonstration is going to come at a cost to people’s health,” Whitmer said back in April, referring to one of the massive protests against her oppressive lockdown orders. “We know that when people gather that way without masks, they were within close proximity, they were touching one another, that that’s how COVID-19 spreads.”

Whitmer even threatened that continued protests against her emergency powers could result in extending her shutdown of the state.

On Friday, however, Whitmer failed to mention any potential danger of coronavirus transmission from massive protests over police brutality.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, whose city has been flooded with protesters for several days, did not criticize the blatant lack of social distancing, though he did at least bother to call on activists to avoid violence.

“Let’s remember why we march, protect each other, and bring a peaceful end to a painful night,” he said.

In the tweet immediately before that one, however, Garcetti gave LA residents a “friendly reminder for any Angelenos returning to their houses of worship this weekend: face coverings and physical distancing are required for all services.”

Most surprisingly of all was the move by Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey, who handed out masks to protesters in his city just days after declaring that allowing too many churchgoers under the same roof at once would be “a recipe in Minneapolis for a public health disaster.”

“I support our governor, I think he’s doing a tremendous job and he’s looking out for the entire state of Minnesota, whereas I’m looking out for the unique characteristics associated with the city of Minneapolis,” Frey said on a Saturday edition of CNN Newsroom, according to Fox News. “Moving up to 25 percent capacity and up to 250 people in places of worship is a recipe in Minneapolis for a public health disaster.”

If you’re attending a thousands-strong rally in memory of George Floyd, however, there appears to be another standard.

“The City encourages everyone to exercise caution to stay safe while participating in demonstrations, including wearing masks and physical distancing as much as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” a press release read. “The City has made hundreds of masks available to protesters this week.”

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