Attorney General William Barr will consider legal action to force governors to ease social distancing requirements for their states.
President Donald Trump's attorney general told talk radio host Hugh Hewitt that extraordinary measures to fight the spread of coronavirus were justified, but Barr argued that at some point they infringed on constitutional rights, reported Bloomberg.
“We have to give businesses more freedom to operate in a way that’s reasonably safe,” Barr said. “To the extent that governors don’t and impinge on either civil rights or on the national commerce -- our common market that we have here -- then we’ll have to address that.”
The president has stoked tensions with Democratic governors who have imposed stay-at-home and other drastic measures during the public health crisis, and small protests against stay-at-orders in many states have drawn widespread attention.
“These are very, very burdensome impingements on liberty, and we adopted them, we have to remember, for the limited purpose of slowing down the spread, that is bending the curve,” Barr said. “We didn’t adopt them as the comprehensive way of dealing with this disease.”
The attorney general agreed with Trump's call to reopen businesses in the weeks ahead, and which GOP governors have signaled they're willing to do soon.
“You can’t just keep on feeding the patient chemotherapy and say, well, we’re killing the cancer, because we were getting to the point where we’re killing the patient,” Barr said, “and now is the time that we have to start looking ahead and adjusting to more targeted therapies.”