Tom Cotton Calls Out Protest Double Standard, Asks Why ‘Thousands of Americans Can Exercise Their First Amendment Rights On The Street’ But Not In Churches

OPINION | This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion.

Republican Senator Tom Cotton has raised an issue with the responses of governors, mayors, and other public figures as thousands of people protesting the death of George Floyd are gathering on the streets amid an ongoing global pandemic.

“Just a couple of weeks ago, we had mayors and governors upset by the lockdown, upset by the shutdown. And now we have got all of these people on the ground protesting, many of whom are peaceful. But is there a worry that they’re going to get COVID, being so close to each other?” Bartiromo asked the congressman, as the Daily Wire reports.

“Well, I hope that’s not the case,” Cotton responded. “We won’t know for a week or two, given the incubation period of the virus. But I think we can say that the lockdowns and the most extreme form are going to have to be finished, whether de facto or not.”

Cotton continued per the report: “You just can’t expect people to continue to voluntarily comply with what some of these mayors and governors are saying.”

While Cotton noted many of the protests are “peaceful,” he said it is a double standard to uphold the lockdown orders against those trying to reopen their businesses, get back to work, or attend religious services but not do the same for other protesters.

“It cannot be the case that thousands of Americans can exercise their First Amendment rights on the street, while dozens of Americans cannot exercise their First Amendment rights in churches,” Cotton exclaimed. “It cannot be the case that you can be arrested for opening a business, but not for looting one.”

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