Top Democrats who cheered on “Black Lives Matter” crowds across the U.S. are now criticizing President Trump for planning to restart his campaign rallies, saying the events — which are scheduled to kick off June 19 in Tulsa, Okla. — could help spread the coronavirus.
The apparent hypocrisy comes just weeks after big-city Democrats who once insisted on strict coronavirus lockdown measures had relented in the wake of George Floyd’s in-custody death, and encouraged anti-police demonstrations.
On Monday, U.S. Rep. Val Demings, D-Fla., told her Twitter followers she had joined a “Healing and Hope” rally “to speak with our community as America grieves.” By Thursday, Demings — considered a possible running mate for Joe Biden — had suddenly changed her tune on mass gatherings.
“The president’s plan to hold mass rallies in Florida and elsewhere as we experience a resurgence in COVID cases is irresponsible and selfish,” Demings remarked, without any reference to her previous comments.
A week ago, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, an independent who sought the Democratic presidential nomination before suspending his campaign in April, tweeted: “Congratulations to all who are out on the streets today peacefully protesting.” But by Thursday, Sanders, too, took a different approach to public safety.
“Trump wants 15,000 delegates cheering him at his GOP convention in Florida,” the former presidential candidate said, referring to the president’s new convention site. “No social distancing. His rejection of medical advice endangers not only those there but those they come in contact with. Trump’s a threat to the health and well-being of the country. He must be defeated.”