Attorney General William Barr drew sharp condemnation Thursday for comparing lockdown orders during the coronavirus pandemic to slavery.
In remarks Wednesday night at Hillsdale College in Michigan, Barr had called the lockdown orders the “greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history” since slavery. His comments came at an event where he also criticized his own prosecutors for behaving as “headhunters” in their pursuit of prominent targets and for using the weight of the criminal justice system to launch what he said were “ill-conceived” political probes.
Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., the No. 3 House Democratic leader, told CNN that Barr’s remarks were “the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful things I’ve ever heard” because they wrongly equated human bondage with a measure aimed at saving lives.
“Slavery was not about saving lives. It was about devaluing lives,” Clyburn said. “This pandemic is a threat to human life.”