James Clyburn has slammed William Barr for contrasting Coronavirus lockdown measures to slavery. The third most senior Democrat in the House is the latest person to join growing criticism of the Attorney General.
Congressman Clyburn, who is the House Majority Whip, spoke to CNN on Thursday about Barr’s remarks. The AG had said lockdowns were the greatest intrusion on civil liberties apart from slavery.
“You know, I think that that statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone-deaf, God-awful thing I’ve ever heard,” Clyburn said.
“It is incredible that [the] chief law enforcement officer in this country would equate human bondage to expert advice to save lives.”
“Slavery was not about saving lives, it was about devaluing lives,” he said.
The South Carolina representative said Barr and President Donald Trump are “absolutely tone-deaf to what it takes to be great leaders.”
“They are driving this country into a direction that no one ever thought they would see in our lifetime,” he said.
“It would have been great if we had a national lockdown, so that people’s lives would be saved, and our children will be going on with their lives today, as they should be. But that is just what we’re up against here,” Clyburn said.
Darragh Roche is a journalist covering U.S. politics and media