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Barr’s comparison of COVID-19 lockdowns to slavery is ‘sick’: Biden

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Barr’s comparison of COVID-19 lockdowns to slavery is ‘sick’: Biden

  • Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Thursday night slammed Attorney General William Barr for likening coronavirus-related restrictions to slavery.
  • “What Bill Barr recently said is outrageous,” Biden said during a CNN town hall event. “Quite frankly, they’re sick.”
  • Barr described stay-at-home orders as the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history,” apart from slavery.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday sharply rebuked Attorney General William Barr for comparing coronavirus-related lockdowns to slavery.

“What Bill Barr recently said is outrageous,” Biden told CNN anchor Anderson Cooper during a town hall event. “Quite frankly, they’re sick.” 


Barr made the comments in question on Wednesday, saying, “You know, putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders, is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”

President Donald Trump chose not to impose a nationwide lockdown order, even though leading health experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN that the US “really should be” on a federally mandated lockdown. Instead, governors came up with a patchwork of restrictions in a bid to control the spread of the virus, while Trump called on state leaders to “liberate” Americans and reopen businesses and schools.


According to Biden, Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus pandemic forced Americans to give up their civil liberties. 

“You lost your freedom, because he didn’t act,” Biden said. “The freedom to go to that ball game, the freedom of your kid to go to school, the freedom to see your mom or dad in the hospital, the freedom just to walk around your neighborhood because of failure to act responsibly.”

Other Democrats, including House Majority Whip James Clyburn, also condemned Barr’s remarks.

“That statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I’ve ever heard,” Clyburn told CNN.

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