This week, Attorney General William Barr said in a speech, “Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint,” the coronavirus stay-at-home orders were “the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history.”
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah thinks that might be going a tad too far.
“OK, slow your roll there, Droopy Dog,” Noah said in response. “Corona quarantines are not even close to the worst intrusion into civil liberties.” Off the top of his head, he listed Japanese internment camps during World War II and the Jim Crow-era efforts to stop Black people from voting as two other examples.
“And don’t get me wrong,” he added. “I know that Barr said slavery was worse. But he shouldn’t even be mentioning slavery in the same breath as corona shutdowns.”
Noah also pointed out that this is hardly the first time Republicans have compared something they don’t like to slavery. “‘Obama is like slavery! Paying taxes is like slavery!’” He wondered if Barr sits at home complaining, “Goddamit, I wish Harriet Tubman would free me from this Zoom call!”
From there, the host moved on to President Trump’s latest claim that America’s death count would be a lot lower if we just didn’t count blue states. “Did this dude just try to pull the ‘if you just eat around the mold, everything’s fine’ move but with corona deaths?” Noah asked. “While we’re at it, why don’t we just not count the red states too? Then the U.S. has zero deaths, which is pretty impressive, if you ask me.”
“It’s truly astounding that a leader would even think of his country in that way,” he continued. “You can’t just write off entire states. My man, this isn’t the Electoral College, the popular vote counts.”
And on top of that, Noah explained, Trump’s comments aren’t just “embarrassing and unpatriotic and gross,” they’re also wrong. Because even if you only count states Trump won in 2016, the U.S. still has one of the highest death tolls from the virus in the world. “So even Trump’s lies are lies,” he said. “Trump can’t even flatten the curve he’s grading himself on.”
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