AG Barr: ‘Draconian’ Coronavirus Restrictions Represent ‘Continuing Encroachment on Personal Liberty’

US Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein (R) listens while Attorney General William Barr speaks during a press conference about the release of the Mueller Report at the Department of Justice April 18, 2019, in Washington, DC. - US Attorney General Bill Barr said Thursday that the White House fully cooperated …
BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Attorney General William Barr expressed concerns in an interview on Wednesday that “draconian” measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus will come at the cost of freedom for the American people.

“I’m very concerned about the slippery slope in terms of continuing encroachments on personal liberty,” Barr said. “I do think during the emergency, appropriate, reasonable steps are fine.”

During the interview with Fox News, the attorney general “suggested that the federal government in May should begin relaxing some of the ‘draconian’ social distancing restrictions imposed throughout the U.S,” the Hill reported. “Barr said in an interview with Fox News that the U.S. had to be ‘very careful’ to ensure some of the measures being ‘adopted are fully justified, and there are not alternative ways of protecting people’ amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.”

“I think, you know, when this — when this period of time is — at the end of April expires, 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,” Barr said.

Barr is referring to guidelines from the White House last month “urging Americans to avoid nonessential travel and gatherings with more than 10 people until the end of April. Several states have imposed even stricter measures as part of an effort to keep people home and avoid straining health care systems experiencing a surge in patients.”

Barr said in the Fox interview that the Justice Department will continue to track any actions that “restrict people’s liberty.”

The restrictions have not only limited personal freedom, but have also devastated the American economy, with millions of jobs lost and small businesses across the country folding.

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