During the latest edition of his podcast Liberty Report, former Republican Congressman Ron Paul decried the measures imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus as a “scandal,” The Washington Examiner reported on Saturday.
Paul argued that stay-at-home orders and similar measures are not only unconstitutional but also violate the basic principles of liberty.
“It is a scandal. I think the basic reason why people should be against the lockdown is it’s against their freedoms to make their own choices.”
The famous libertarian said that lawmakers and government officials have “designed this as a reaction to their planning.”
“What is the motivation of the people who wanted the lockdown?” he asked.
Paul added that Americans are “waking up” to the reality of what their representatives are doing. The former congressman compared the war against COVID-19 to the wars in Vietnam and Iraq, suggesting that the public is increasingly viewing the fight against the coronavirus pandemic as a wasted effort.
“We’re at a point where, guess what, people are waking up. And they’re saying, ‘Oh, this war against the virus. It might not be any more practical than the war against the Vietnamese.’ Maybe it’s no more practical than, I guess, the war against Saddam Hussein,” he said.
Paul has long argued that the pandemic is not as dangerous as most suggest. In March, the former presidential candidate penned a column calling the crisis a “hoax.” In the op-ed, he argued that “the actual danger” is not the virus but those looking to profit from the “panic” caused by COVID-19.
The essay was published only days before Paul’s son, Kentucky Republican Rand Paul, tested positive for COVID-19. Paul was one of the first senators to test positive for the disease. He displayed no symptoms and resumed regular activities after spending time in self-isolation.
According to public health experts, stay-at-home orders and lockdown measures are the best way to fight the coronavirus pandemic. As NPR reported, social distancing measures have been imposed all over the world in order to slow down the spread of COVID-19 and to protect health care systems.
If there were no restrictions, analyses have shown, hospitals in the United States would be overwhelmed by thousands of patients, which would result in more deaths. The nation already went through a similar situation. In 1918, during the flu pandemic, local governments imposed various social distancing measures to protect the population.
In 1918, just like today, some disagreed with stay-at-home orders. In Philadelphia, for instance, city officials ignored warnings and held a parade. Within six months, 16,000 Philadelphians had died.