There’s no “pandemic exception” to the Bill of Rights, Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis told The Minnesota Sun in a recent interview.
That’s the same argument U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr made in an interview with radio host Hugh Hewitt.
“We have three branches of government, and allowing the unitary executive to do this, especially making a pandemic exception to the Bill of Rights, seems to me to be, and to Attorney General Bill Barr, to be overstepping their bounds. Now states, to be perfectly objective about it, states do have plenary police powers, but that assumes the state will make a law in the normal order – introduced in the legislative branch and signed by the governors. That’s not what’s happening here,” Lewis told The Minnesota Sun.
Lewis said he’s been campaigning all over the state for the past two weeks because his team decided “enough was enough.” Going through “a second Great Depression” won’t do “anything to stop a virus,” he said.
“The lockdown was meant to give hospital capacity a head start – we’ve accomplished that by anybody’s standard. Any official who purports to represent the people of Minnesota cannot deny them their God-given right to earn a living,” Lewis added.
Lewis predicts that the state will continue to see cases of civil disobedience in response to shelter-in-place mandates, such as the case of a St. Paul barber who reopened in defiance of the governor’s orders.
“And I think people are looking at this and they’re saying, ‘never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d have to fight for the right to put food on the table,’” he continued.
The lesson to be learned from the coronavirus pandemic, according to Lewis, is “to be very wary of a mob mentality.”
“You have a capriciousness to this that belies any seriousness. That’s why people are starting to get very, very skeptical of all of this,” said Lewis. For example, abortion clinics are “essential,” but churches must close. Walmart can sell gardening supplies “but the general store in Good Thunder” can’t, he noted.
“And they’re moving the goalposts. First it was to make certain that hospital capacity got caught up, now it’s to eradicate any and all virus. Well, you’re never going to do that so in that case the lockdown would last in perpetuity, which would be the end of America and Minnesota as we know it,” Lewis said.
The scientific community’s coronavirus models, which have estimated a vast range of possible outcomes, have been a source of debate and controversy throughout the pandemic. By Lewis’s estimation, these models have been “anything but science.”
“You cannot have a divergence of epidemiological deaths of 20,000 people in one state, as we have between the University of Washington model and the U of M model, and expect people to believe it,” he said.
The former radio host has picked up on a trend in the Democratic Party’s response to the virus, which has included calls for everything from rent moratoriums and mail-in voting to a universal basic income and the release of all ICE detainees.
“Why are all the solutions to corona basically a liberal wish list? All of that added up means there’s a whole lot more skepticism out there than a Star Tribune poll would have you believe,” he said. “I will say it just goes to show you the Democrats will never let a crisis go to waste. To politicize this thing when you’re bankrupting American families and small businessmen and women is the height of hypocrisy.”
Lewis said Gov. Tim Walz’s biggest mistake has been his refusal to reopen the state on a county by county basis, which he has the authority to do.
“Now we’ve got six counties with zero cases and over 30 with three or less,” he said last week. “There’s no reason for the governor not to be opening these counties, even if he wants to keep Minneapolis shut or Hennepin.”
This is the third part of a three part interview with former Congressman Jason Lewis. Check back for part three.
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