Lockdown-Mad Joe Biden Will Imprison Us All In Our Homes, Claim GOP Liars Who Lie
Last Thursday, on COVID-19's one-year global pandemic birthday, President Joe Biden warned Americans that if we don't all kneel before him, maybe build a few temples in his honor, he'll have no choice but to lock us in our homes again. Well, that's how Republicans and rightwing media interpreted the president's remarks. He actually said this:
Even if we devote every resource we have, beating this virus and getting back to normal depends on national unity. And national unity isn't just how politics and politicians vote in Washington, what the loudest voices say on cable or online. Unity is what we do as fellow Americans. Because if we don't stay vigilant and the conditions change, then we may have to reinstate restrictions to get back on track. And, please, we don't want to do that again.
That seems reasonable. He even said we might safely celebrate the Fourth of July, that big dumb fireworks holidays, with our loved ones. Conservative were still pissed. How dare he suggest we have loved ones? Besides, non-commie Americans want their Oompa-Loompas now without the waiting or piddly-ass considerations for public health.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis immediately attacked Biden for even raising the possibility of future lockdowns. DeSantis's COVID-19 response has been to pretend the disease doesn't exist. That's my preferred response to DeSantis himself, but it's not good policy for a pandemic.
"To even contemplate doing any type of lockdown, honestly it's insane, and so that's not gonna happen in the state of Florida," DeSantis said. "We're gonna continue doing what works, but under no circumstances would we entertain anything of the sort."
He finally issued a statewide stay-at-home order in April 2020, when there were at least 7,000 confirmed cases and 80 deaths. There were 57,083 confirmed cases and 93 deaths on Monday alone. What's honestly “insane" is dismissing out of hand any further lockdowns or restrictions because they're no fun. We could've told DeSantis that in April. We don't social distance because we like it (well, I do). It's the best way of controlling COVID-19's spread and keeping people safe.
DeSantis insists that lockdowns in other states weren't effective. That's a lie. He's lying is what he's doing. Oregon and Washington have had more extensive COVID-19 restrictions than Florida and fewer cases and deaths. He also promoted the twisted rightwing narrative that Democrats want the pandemic to last forever so they can maintain total control over people sitting at home in their bathrobes.
"There are some people who do not want this to stop, and I don't understand that," DeSantis said. "Remember they said it was 15 days to slow the spread and now we're on day 358 or something like that now."
He conveniently neglected to mention that it was the former White House squatter who thought we could defeat COVID-19 in a British fortnight. (He also skipped right over the fact that Florida sure as hell hasn't had 358 days of anything but beach party.) Saskia Popescu, an epidemiologist and biodefense professor at George Mason University, said that guidance demonstrated "a lack of awareness for managing outbreak response."
"Simply put, 15 days is not enough to address so much of what we were facing in March 2020 and this plan really reveals an administration and national plan that was quite superficial in response," Popescu said in an email.
States like Florida started reopening in May and ignored most of the criteria for doing so safely. That's why we're a year into the pandemic and 535,227 Americans are dead. Amazingly, a recent poll showed that 53 percent of Floridians approve of the way DeSantis is killing them.
During an interview Monday with Fox Business's Elizabeth MacDonald, North Dakota GOP Senator Kevin Cramer agreed with DeSantis's comments and said he was "perplexed by [the Biden's] administration's desire to keep this pandemic going." That's also a lie. Biden begged Americans to act responsibly so the pandemic won't continue.
CRAMER: We spent the last year plus trying to get rid of the pandemic.
CRAMER: These guys seem to be elongating it. They want to spread their misery. People want to get out and do things they do in the summertime.
Last year, assholes went out and did the things they do in the summertime. That's why cases surged. There were “No Mask Days" for God's sake.
CRAMER: Governor DeSantis knows far better than anybody in Washington DC whether Florida is ready to be open. I trust his judgment and I hope people get on airplanes to go to Florida. I know I'm going to.
Cramer went on to knock Dr. Anthony Fauci for suggesting that the one-term loser should encourage his supporters to get vaccinated. This apparently “astounded" Cramer because he claimed conservatives are naturally suspicious of "group think" (what we might call “patriotism") and if they want a vaccine, they'll get one. It's all about them as individuals. Who cares about the rest of the country. I can't even with these people.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."