Senator @HawleyMO: "Do you think it's wrong to discriminate on the basis of religious faith?"— Carrie Severino (@JCNSeverino) June 7, 2023
Biden’s district judge nominee for D.C Loren AliKhan: "Absolutely."
Senator Hawley: "Then why did you argue that religious services and religious people pose a greater risk of… pic.twitter.com/lqMPt3Q8x4
There was a particular risk of spreading SARS-CoV-2 because of the singing and spoken prayer which take place. Yet, many churches, including the one I attend, rest on a piece of property suitable for organized outdoor worship and moved their services outside. Synagogues and mosques generally could do likewise, if they chose.
There is widespread disagreement, and too little research, pertaining to whether the George Floyd/black lives matter protests sparked a significant rise in the spread of Covid-19. Also permitted were such events as huge, mega- motorcycle rallies. In August, 2020, The New York Times reported
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, tens of thousands of motorcycle enthusiasts converged over the weekend outside the small South Dakota community of Sturgis for the 80th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
The sounds of screeching tires and engines revving echoed across the Sturgis Buffalo Chip, a 600-acre campground that will be home for the next week for the majority of attendees. This year, many said they were not concerned about the virus, as they walked around without masks and took helicopter rides and attended outdoor concerts and motorcycle shows.
Some of the bikers were here for the first time. Others have been attending for decades, and said they were unwilling to miss what they consider an annual tradition.
Officials said about 250,000 enthusiasts were expected this year — about half the number who attended last year, but a figure that would still make the rally one of the country’s largest public gatherings since the first coronavirus cases emerged in the spring. Here are some of the attendees, their thoughts and their rides.
This was no ACLU convention, Planned Parenthood retreat, or Critical Race Theory seminar. They weren't a bunch of liberals or progressives or "People of Color." It was a motorcycle rally, believed- accurately or inaccurately- to be relatively safe from the scourge of Covid-19 because it was held outdoors.
The understanding of the difference between outdoor and indoor permeated the reasoning of federal authorities and of many state officials, such as in New Jersey, where the beaches were open as normal. Albeit with many exceptions throughout the country, outdoor gatherings large and small were permitted, sometimes even celebrated, while serious precautions were far more likely to be prohibited. This distinction applied to the racial protests and church closings.
Hawley's interrogation of the district judge nominee did, however, serve two purposes. It enabled a Republican to maintain the GOP effort to block President Biden's nominations to the federal judiciary. Additionally, it gave the Republican Party another opportunity to establish the myth of a nexus between the Democratic Party and the "defund the police" campaign. That would be the movement which was virtually unchallenged three years ago when it was riding high, but denounced today by courageous Republicans now that it is nearly moribund.