AG Barr calls coronavirus restrictions ‘draconian,’ says they should be reevaluated next month

Attorney General William Barr Wednesday called the restrictions in effect in many states to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus "draconian" and said they should be revisited next month.

Asked by Fox News host Laura Ingraham about the balance between religious freedoms and the need to protect people from the coronavirus with restrictions like stay-at-home orders, Barr said the federal government would be "keeping a careful eye on" states' use of broad powers to regulate the lives of their citizens.

Officials, Barr said, should be "very careful to make sure...that the draconian measures that are being adopted are fully justified, and there are not alternative ways of protecting people."

But the attorney general said given where things stood with the virus in March, he believes President Donald Trump made the right decision in issuing strict social distancing guidelines.

"I think the president has made the right decisions for the right reasons," Barr said.

After the 30-day period of the Trump administration's coronavirus mitigation measures elapsed, he said, "I think we have to allow people to adapt more than we have and not just tell people to go home and hide under the bed, but allow them to use other ways – social distancing and other means – to protect themselves."

Echoing previous comments by Trump, Barr said "just measured in lives, the cure cannot be worse than the disease."

The Trump administration's current guidelines recommend that people not gather in groups of 10 or more people, go to restaurants or bars, and to limit their activities outside the home.

Fact Check:Yes, Texas' governor has deemed religious services essential amid pandemic

Coronavirus live updates:Stimulus checks on the way; US deaths nears 15K; astronauts head to space station

Although the guidelines help limit the spread of the virus, they have shuttered of large sectors of the economy. Some commentators on the right have questioned the impact on civil liberties, including Ingraham who said "right now we have no freedom of worship" and "no real freedom of assembly" because of what states are doing.

In a press briefing Wednesday, Trump said the country was "ahead of schedule" toward reopening, though to do so virus cases would need to be on the "downward slope."

"It would be nice to be able to open with a big bang and open up our country – or certainly most of our country. And I think we're going to do that soon. If you look at what's happening, I would say we're ahead of schedule," he said.

More:Almost all of the federal stockpile of personal protective equipment is depleted, new documents show

As of Thursday morning, coronavirus cases and deaths continued to climb in the United States, with the number of coronavirus deaths approaching 15,000, with more than 432,000 confirmed cases nationwide.

The attorney general said the coronavirus had impacted how he worked, too.

"I still come in most days, and we sit at the conference very spread out when we've - when we need a meeting," he said. "We do more by telephone and by a group teleconference and video conference than we have before."

Source: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2020/04/09/coronavirus-barr-says-draconian-rules-may-need-revisited-soon/5120413002/

News Related

ORTHER NEWS

Trump’s ‘mission accomplished’ moment is premature and deadly. We have not defeated COVID.

Desperate for crowds and adoration, Trump has put his most fervent supporters at risk of getting a deadly disease. Future historians will be astonished. Read more »

NFLPA president JC Tretter says NFL is putting season, players at risk with its coronavirus approach

NFL Players Association president JC Tretter said Tuesday the NFL is putting the 2020 season at risk with its coronavirus approach, calling on the league to better “prioritize player safety.” “Like many other... Read more »

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro says he tested positive for the coronavirus

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro says he has tested positive for COVID-19 after months of downplaying the virus’ severity. Bolsonaro confirmed the test results while wearing a mask and... Read more »

Venice Film Festival forges ahead amid COVID-19 pandemic with reduced lineup

The show will go on for the Venice Film Festival in September, but with a few modifications due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizers said Tuesday that they are pushing forward with plans for... Read more »

Amtrak offers buy-one, get-one promotion on its sleeper trains amid COVID-19 — with a catch

Amtrak wants you to have sweet dreams the next time you travel — so much so that it’s sweetening the deal on its sleeper “roomettes.” The rail service is offering a buy-one-get-one-free discount... Read more »

Florida teen treated with hydroxychloroquine at home before dying of COVID-19, report says

FORT MEYERS, Fla. – The family of a 17-year-old Florida girl who died last month from COVID-19 treated her symptoms at home for nearly a week before taking her to a hospital, a... Read more »

Mookie Betts worried MLB coronavirus testing woes could prevent him from ever playing for Dodgers

During nearly four months away from the game, Mookie Betts said he “stayed away from baseball to keep myself sane.” It’s not hard to understand why. The 2018 American League Most Valuable Player... Read more »

Tom Hanks doesn’t get ‘how common sense has somehow been put into question’ with coronavirus

Read more »

Can Gov. DeSantis force Florida schools to reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic? Some school leaders seem doubtful.

PALM BEACH, Fla. — As concern about the state order spread online, some school leaders said: Not so fast. As Florida educators puzzle over how to start the new academic year, Gov. Ron... Read more »

Texas surpasses 200,000 coronavirus cases after 4th of July holiday weekend

AUSTIN, Texas – Texas reached 200,000 total COVID-19 cases Monday, just 17 days after crossing the 100,000 threshold, a figure that took the state nearly four months to hit. The grim milestone came... Read more »