Attorney General William Barr said in a remark on Wednesday that COVID-19’s nationwide lockdowns are the “greatest intrusion” against “civil liberties” in the country’s history. 

Barr said this statement during a speech at Hillsdale College in Michigan on Wednesday. 

According to Barr, putting people on lockdown and “stay at home order is like house arrest.” 

The United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases in the world, amounting to more than 6 million cases. 

Also, the virus has killed almost 200,000 Americans. 

Barr also slammed the prosecutors of the Justice Department during his speech. 

The Department of Justice allows its line prosecutors to go on with decisions without approval from political appointees, he said. 

The Attorney General likened the department to a preschool before he became its head. 

According to Barr, letting “junior members” set an organization’s agenda sounds like “a good philosophy for a Montessori preschool.”

However, that is not how you “run a federal agency,” Barr said. 

Barr overruling the Justice Department’s prosecutors’ decisions has earned him backlash from his own Department and other lawyers. 

For example, Barr’s interference on cases against US President Donald Trump associates, Michael Flynn and Roger Stone. 

Barr also argued that the “ultimate authority in the Justice Department” only comes from people chosen by the “elected officials.”

People’s Reaction 

Barr’s remarks during his speech at Hillsdale College earned him criticism from people. 

House Majority Whip, James Clyburn found Barr equating lockdowns to slavery “ridiculous” and “tone-deaf,” per CNN. 

“It is incredible that (the) chief law” enforcer in the country would liken “human bondage to expert advice to save lives,” Clyburn said. 

Slavery does not save lives but devalues them, Clyburn added.

Noah Bookbinder who worked at the Justice Department find the Attorney General’s comments against his own employees, “disgusting, sad, and personally offensive.”


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