Denver7 follows up on Tuesday night’s disturbingly large “Stop the COVID Chaos” rally, headlined by GOP House Minority Leader Patrick Neville and fringe-right columnist Michelle Malkin and drew thousands of “anti-maskers” to Jefferson County’s Bandimere Speedway near Morrison:
Video of the event left some people asking if the rally put people at risk. It showed large crowds, little social distancing and few masks. But rally participants didn’t see any danger.
“COVID is a concern, but I don’t think it should be restrictive to the point of hindering lives,” said Brian Albee.
Rep. Neville questioned why no one tries to stop the Black Lives Matter protests over COVID-19 concerns, but are raising questions about the Stop the COVID Chaos rally. [Pols emphasis]
“If they (county/state) come back and are very punitive on Bandimere for having what was a peaceful protest, yet there were vandals that were throwing molotov cocktails that were totally let off the hook (during BLM protests),” Neville said.
Let’s be frank from the outset about a few things: there’s a very simple reason why Tuesday night’s “COVID Chaos” rally represents a greater public health threat for spreading the pandemic than Black Lives Matter protests that have gone on for months now–although we are not intending here to downplay the risks inherent to any large public gathering. The difference is, at the “COVID Chaos” rally attendees were making a deliberate effort to flout basic best practices to avoid spreading the disease among themselves, unlike BLM protesters who to a much greater degree do wear masks and try to practice such social distancing as is possible under the circumstances. Look at this photo of the crowd brought together at Bandimere Tuesday night for posterity:
No masks, not even a pretense of social distancing. It’s a willful disregard for public health that simply has no analogue among lefty protesters. And while it’s true that we’ve seen plenty of lawbreaking by protesters on all sides in these months of protests over police brutality, thousands of people at Bandimere Speedway Tuesday night broke the law too. They broke the law, and the licensed owners of Bandimere Speedway broke the law, and at the Colorado Republican House Minority Leader encouraged them all to break the law. As a result of this en masse lawbreaking, it is virtually certain that some number of “COVID Chaos” attendees will contract COVID-19–and some fraction of those cases mathematically will be fatal.
With all of this in mind, if you believe that the streets of America’s cities should be militarized to put a stop to lawbreaking, you are morally obligated to also support punishing Bandimere Speedway for putting thousands of people at risk of contracting a deadly disease Tuesday night. If you like a majority of Americans believe that both police brutality and COVID-19 are problems to be addressed instead of scoffed at, you might even conclude the only correct course of action is to shut down Bandimere Speedway, and it’s offensive to draw any equivalence between these two “movements.”
Either way, either the law matters or it does not. And plenty of rioters are facing charges.