A deadly combination of states’ rights and racism means that many US states are choosing personal freedom over life.

A deadly combination of states’ rights and racism means that many US states are choosing personal freedom over life.

States’ rights and racism have been two deadly stran ds in American history which have been brought to the surface in the COVID-19 pandemic. Laura Smith writes that the pandemic shows just how desensitized Americans have become to the risk of more death – especially among communities of color, wh o have been disproportionately impacted. With the re-opening of states, Americans who protested against state restrictions in favor of personal liberty appear to be getting their way. However, medical experts such as the Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Anthony Fauci, have since raised the uncomfortable question of just how many deaths Americans are “willing to accept.” New York’s Governor, Andrew Cuomo, has declared that every human life is “priceless,” whilst defending his decision to continue restrictions in his state. While this sentiment valuing human life is a core tenet of his Catholic faith, it is also a belief that may be expressed by other governors but is not reflected in their decisions to re-open their states. It is possible that governors are buckling under the pressure to lift restrictions as part of the Trump administration’s effective employment of a shock and awe messaging strategy. At the end of March, when the White House announced the potential of between 100,000 and 240,000 American lives being lost to the coronavirus (COVID-19), this sobering statistic helped propel the nation into lockdown. As time passed and the economy continued to crumble, the patience of the American people began […]

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