President Donald Trump and his allies have repeatedly contradicted advice from health officials and warned against basic precautions to curb the virus that's killed nearly 200 thousand Americans in a matter of months.
In what critics say has been an effort to preserve the Obama era economy as a case for his reelection, the President has frequently bashed local officials like Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) for issuing temporary stay-at-home orders that have been proven to slow the spread.
With the President once again calling for states to reopen, Attorney General William Barr—one of the most infamous faces of the Trump administration—is throwing his support behind the effort, even comparing the orders to slavery in recent comments.
At the conservative Hillsdale College's annual Constitution Day Celebration, Attorney General Barr said:
"Putting a national lockdown, stay-at-home orders is like house arrest. Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, this is the greatest intrusion on civil liberties in American history."
People were startled by Barr's comments not only because he compared lifesaving policies to slavery, but House Majority Whip James Clyburn (D-SC) was particularly disgusted.
Clyburn said in an interview on CNN:
"I think that statement by Mr. Barr was the most ridiculous, tone deaf, God awful things I have ever heard. It is incredible the chief law enforcement officer would equate human bondage to expert advice to save lives."
People were also disturbed because Barr's comments demonstrated a potential lack of understanding of American legal history.
They were quick to remind Barr of previous intrusions on civil liberties that dwarf lockdown orders made by governors. Most notably, Twitter users noted that Barr appeared to forget or gloss over the period during World War II, in which Japanese Americans were forced to move to internment camps.
Some noted the racist laws of the Jim Crow era South, which systematically robbed Black southerners of any agency, potential for economic growth, and right to life guaranteed them by the Constitution, in addition to plaguing them with white violence.
They didn't hold back in their rebuttals.
People continued to roast Barr on Twitter.